Pearl Harbor Honor Flight Initiative Takes Off
Our travel, December 4, 2011 day began at three forty-five Sunday morning. American Airlines check-in went smoothly. Channel 5-television commentator arrived for interviews with our heroes. Boy Scout troop 608 was also on hand. They gave each of the Pearl Harbor survivors a special commemorative pen. From check-in we moved through security, including a few random pat-downs for those for whom the metal detector squealed. Some fellow travelers changed their travel plans in order for our plane to meet weight requirements. We hope their travel was safe.
By six twenty-five we were airborne! The American Eagle crew were so caring. They shared our heroes’ stories with all the passengers, made the flight safely through the rainy weather, and took time at the end of our flight to Dallas to pose for a photo. Dallas airport staff transported us to the USO facilities where the survivors met with some active duty troops and enjoyed some snacks before boarding the wide body jet flight to Hawaii. Once seated in the plane, the pilot moved through the cabin greeting each survivor. Soon we were in the air on our way to Pearl Harbor. Eight hours later, our heroes received floral leis and applause as they entered the terminal. Everywhere they paused people approached and shook their hands, thanking them for their service to America, seventy years ago. Our Pearl Harbor survivors visited with other active duty military in the Hawaii USO lounge while waiting for our vehicles.
Pearl Harbor Honor Flight Arrives in Pearl Harbor
By seven PM, Hawaiian time, we had checked into Ford Island Navy Lodge and were ready for dinner at Schooners. After a relaxing meal on their lanai, we were all ready for sleep! This had been a long exhausting travel day, but we had made our destination. Everyone went to sleep smiling, thankful to American Airlines, the USO and everyone else who have helped us get here.
Boy Scout Troop 608 greets Pearl Harbor American Eagle flight team poses with survivors at the Pensacola Airport Pearl Harbor survivors
Cass Phillips visits with Dallas USO director Bill Braddock is greeted by American Airline captain prior to take off
Jim Landis welcomed at Hawaii USO Frank Emond and travel companion Patricia Wertanen arrive in Hawaii
Jay Caraway and daughter Tina Sutton Holly Shelton and George Mills receive are welcomed to Hawaii receive leis.
pearl harbor honor flight survivors thank all who have made this trip possible