PHOTO: Dick Daley poses with his aid Sandy Allan during his trip to Washington, D.C. last month. Photo courtesy of Dick Daley.
By Kristy Kibler
Dick Daley, the commander of the Wallace and Jeffers American Legion Post no. 753 in Castile and a World War II Army veteran, took an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C. the weekend of May 19, courtesy of the Honor Flight Network.
The program transports WWII veterans from all over the country to the national Capitol, so they can visit the WWII memorial and tour the rest of the city. The transportation, lodging and entire experience is 100 percent free. Each veteran gets a personal aid, as well as a wheelchair to prevent the weekend being too taxing.
The organization’s philosophy is stated on its website, wwwhonorflight.org.
“Since America felt it was important to build a memorial to the service and the ultimate sacrifice of her veterans, the Honor Flight Network believes it’s equally important that they actually get to visit and experience their memorial.”
The program will start moving on to Korean and Vietnam War veterans as time goes on.
On Daley’s flight, 45 veterans flew out of Rochester. In addition to experiencing the National Mall and memorials, Daley’s group also visited Arlington Cemetery. Upon their return in Rochester, a homecoming celebration awaited them at the airport.
Daley said the veterans were given special treatment and access at the memorials, getting closer than other visitors. He had never been to the memorial before, and he said it was a “real honor” to have been chosen to go on the trip.