EAA, American Airlines, and the Honor Flight Network have joined together to give World War II veterans the opportunity to visit the powerful memorials dedicated in their honor as an Old Glory Honor Flight will depart from EAA AirVenture 2010.
The Old Glory Honor Flight is one of hundreds activities comprising the week-long "Salute to Veterans" commemoration at "The World's Greatest Aviation Celebration," which is being held July 26-August 1 at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh.
On Thursday, July 29, the special American Airlines yellow-ribbon 737 aircraft, "Flagship Liberty," will fly approximately 80 World War II veterans from the AirVenture grounds to Washington, D.C. After a reception greeting them at Reagan National Airport, the veterans will embark on a day-long tour of memorials honoring the sacrifices they made preserving freedom, including the World War II Memorial, Iwo Jima Memorial, Korean War Memorial, Air Force Memorial, and the Vietnam Wall.
"All of us at American Airlines are excited to be a part of this year's EAA AirVenture, and especially to have the opportunity to fly some of our nation's greatest treasures—World War II veterans—to see their memorial in Washington, D.C.," said Captain Steve Blankenship, Managing Director—Veterans Initiatives for American Airlines. "American has a long history of supporting our troops, veterans and their families. It is an honor to serve the members of the 'Greatest Generation' who have given so much for this country."
The Old Glory Honor Flight veterans will return to AirVenture on Thursday, July 29, for a scheduled arrival shortly after 6 p.m., when they will receive a welcome home reception many did not receive more than 60 years ago.
"Adding the Old Glory Honor Flight to AirVenture is a natural fit with this year's 'Salute to Veterans' theme," said Tom Poberezny, EAA chairman/president and AirVenture chairman. "We are honored to partner with American Airlines and the Honor Flight Network, giving these heroes the opportunity to see the sites dedicated to their service and allowing them to receive the recognition they deserve."
The Old Glory Honor Flight, the Northeast Wisconsin hub of the Honor Flight Network, recognizes World War II veterans for sacrifices and achievements by providing a memorable, safe and rewarding tour of Washington, D.C., memorials at no cost. Additional information on the Old Glory Honor Flight is available at www.oldgloryhonorflight.org.
"Flagship Liberty" is scheduled to arrive at AirVenture at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, July 28, and be staged at AeroShell Square, where it will be available for tours throughout the day.
American Airlines is the official airline of Gary Sinise and The Lt. Dan Band, which will perform at AirVenture 2010 on Friday, July 30. The concert, sponsored by EAA Warbirds of America and the Disabled American Veterans (DAV), is scheduled for 8 p.m. at Theater in the Woods.