QUINCY -- Area World War II and Vietnam veterans will journey to Washington, D.C., on Thursday as participants in the 56th mission of the Great River Honor Flight.
The 31 veterans making the daylong trek come from Adams, Pike, Brown and Schuyler counties in Illinois; Marion, Ralls, Clark, Lewis, Monroe, Audrain and Pike counties in Missouri, and Lee County, Iowa. This includes two veterans from Quincy and nine veterans from Hannibal.
The veterans will depart from John Wood Community College's campus at 1:30 a.m. and will return to the school's activity center for a welcome home celebration about 10:30 p.m.
The group will travel by charter bus to St. Louis Lambert International Airport where it will board a flight to Baltimore's airport before making its way to Washington, D.C.
While in the nation's capital, the local veterans and their escorts will visit the Vietnam Memorial, Korean War Memorial, World War II Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, and the Air Force Memorial, which overlooks the Pentagon. The group will also observe the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery prior to leaving D.C.
Great River Honor Flight was started on Veterans Day 2009 with its first flight scheduled on April 13, 2019.
Upon the conclusion of the 56th mission, the organization will have taken 1,800 veterans to see the various war memorials and monuments in Washington.
While the program was initially only for World War II veterans, the program has since expanded to include veterans who served during the Korean War, Vietnam War, and during the years in between those conflicts.
For additional information about the program, call Carlos Fernandez at 217-228-6600.