(10/03/12)The honor flights started out of Springfield Ohio in 2004. After the completetion of the WWII memorial in Washington different groups started getting the funding and logistics in place so the veterans would be able to go see their memorial. At the time the death rate for WWII veterans was more than 1200 veterans a day. In 2011 the death rate for WWII and Korean war veterans was 900 per day. Companies, civic clubs and different organizations have been raising money for the past ten years and have sent tens of thousands of WWII veterans to Washington DC including several trips which have included veterans from Sylva and the surrounding area. The Sylva Rotary Club and under the leaderhip of committee chairs Lynn Lazar and Larry Hinton raised thousands of dollars to make the trips possible for are WWII veterans. Now the focus has turned to Korean War veterans. These members of “The Forgotten War” except for those hundreds of thousands of soldiers and Marines who remember the horrors of the Korean War when wave after wave of Chinese troops attacked American positions until the barrels of the American weapons and machine guns simply melted down from the heat of a endless stream of bullets being sent down the gun barrell in an effort to hold their positions and save American soldiers lives.
In Washington DC between the Lincoln Memorial and the Martin Luther King Memorial one will find the Korean War Memorial. This beautiful memorial displays a platoon of Marines on patrol on the snow covered grounds of Korea. The monument is surrounded by a wall with the engraved images of the faces of soldiers, airplanes, and different armaments of the war. Soon the effort will increase locally for a civic club or organization to send our Korean War Veterans to Washington DC to see their memorial. October 3rd was a special day in Knoxville when over a hundred veterans were given a trip to see their memorial.