LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – On Saturday, sixty eight Honor Flight veterans went to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery.
While there they watched the changing of the guard and participated in an emotional wreath-laying ceremony.
The Honor Flight participants also visited memorials dedicated to the veterans of World War II, Korean and Vietnam wars.
Honor Flight takes veterans of World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War on a one-day trip to Washington, D.C., to visit memorials erected to honor their service and sacrifices.
Representing 34 Kentucky counties, Honor Flight veterans included 11 from World War II, 24 from Korea and 33 from Vietnam.
Veteran Roy Bowling of London was especially moved by the Marine memorial where he remembered his late brother, Troy, a Marine who was in the first wave that landed on the tiny Japanese island called Iwo Jima.
“He was shot bad on the second day, and they had given him up for dead,” Bowling said. Troy lay in a mud puddle among dead marines, bleeding from a chest wound, for hours before he attracted the attention of a combat photographer who called for help. He received medical attention on a hospital ship anchored offshore and was later able to watch as the U.S. flag was raised on Mt. Suribachi, the scene that would inspire the Marine memorial.
When they arrived back in Lexington they were greeted with flag-waving citizens who packed the entire terminal at Lexington’s Blue Grass Airport.