About Honor Flight Cleveland
Nearly 60 years after the end of World War II, President Bush dedicated the World War II Memorial to honor "The Greatest Generation." At the time, every veteran who fought in World War II was already a senior citizen. Regrettably, very few of these elderly veterans have the strength, funds, health or knowledge to complete a conventional trip to Washington, D.C. via commercial airline, car or bus. That's where Honor Flight Cleveland comes in.
In May 2007, the inaugural flight of Honor Flight Cleveland flew from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport to Baltimore-Washington International Airport. Twenty-five U.S. World War II veterans, at no cost to them, participated in that venture. The cost of that trip, and all subsequent trips, have been covered entirely by private donations. Since then, every April through October, veterans have boarded planes for their all-expense paid trip of a lifetime.
While on these trips, stories have been shared, tears have been shed, new relationships have been forged, and lasting memories have been made. Veterans’ lives have been forever enriched by complete strangers who approach them throughout the excursion to express gratitude for the many freedoms we enjoy because of their sacrifices.
From 2007 to 2017, more than 3,500 U.S. veterans, the majority from World War II, have benefited from an Honor Flight Cleveland adventure. The extraordinary feat of providing this service has been accomplished solely by volunteers, donating more than 100,000 hours to this important cause.
Some of the highlights of the Honor Flight Cleveland experience include: the World War II Memorial, the Korean War Memorial, the Vietnam Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, the Reflecting Pool, the Air Force Memorial, the Marine Memorial-Iwo Jima, and Arlington National Cemetery, including witnessing the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns and the honor of laying a wreath at the Tomb.
Seven flights are scheduled annually. Priority is given to World War II veterans; however, terminally ill U.S. veterans who served at any time are also given preferential treatment and assigned to a flight as soon as a seat is available. Korean War veterans fill any open seats.