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Veterans Welcomed Home

Midway Airport September 21, 2011, The welcoming home of World War II Veterans who deserved this long over do "thank you". With over two thousand people in attendance to cheer them on.

I had the pleasure and honor of being a part of an amazing homecoming celebration. I found myself at Midway Airport standing along side thousands of other Americans awaiting the arrival of World War II veterans who were returning from their trip to Washington D.C. after having just been to the World War II Memorial.

There were people from all walks of life gathered and waiting hours before our guests of honor arrived. Many young people turned out, including Boy Scouts from all around the Chicago-area along with students from schools such as Nequa Valley, Gurrie Middle School and many others.

Some were there to support their loved ones, others there to simply say welcome home. And all were given the honor and privilege of being apart of a moment that touched so many hearts that they will never be the same again.

To see so many people on their feet cheering and shouting “Thank You” to our Veterans was truly an emotional ordeal, and the chance of a lifetime to give support and gratitude to those who gave so much to help ensure our freedoms.  As we watched each man and woman come down the aisle of the over two thousand people in attendance, we saw tears roll down their cheeks and a look of pride and gratitude in their eyes.

It is we who owe these men and women a debt of thanks and gratitude. They sacrificed so much for us to enjoy the freedoms we have today. And it was our honor and privilege to be able to stand there and cheer our veterans on!

This chicken will never be the same. Shivers ran down my spine, tears ran down my face and I gained an understanding of what the true cost of freedom really is. Putting a face to the stories we grew up with changed everything. And seeing the life in their eyes and the love in their hearts, I now have an even greater and more appreciative understanding of how truly great this country is. All thanks to the men and women who serve, have served and continue to serve to ensure this country stays free.

Thank you for all you have done! Your sacrifice will never be forgotten!

And that’s the scratch!

C.H. Ickens

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Karin M.W. Centers September 22, 2011 at 08:51 PM
If you ever wondered: Do you know all the things that are done for these flights? It takes months to put it together. Family members are contacted & sworn to secrecy before the flight. In addition to the flight & the places they visit, they do a thing on the plane called "mail call'. Each man is given an envelope containing letters from family members, just like when they were in service. If the man has no family, letters from school children are put in the envelope. Also, as you saw, the family members are at the airport to 'welcome them home.' Typically none of the men know we're going to be there. They get greeted by police, fire, bagpipes and motorcycle honor guard. Totally awesome!There are 1,000's still on waiting lists for the flight. Truly a gift of love and respect. If you ever get the opportunity to be a part of one, then do it. Because you will never be the same!
NESAMOH September 22, 2011 at 09:19 PM
Boy Scout Troop 42, River Trails District, Chicago Area Council wiht Miss Illinois Welcoming home our HEROES. http://a2.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/314055_224853637571051_100001392483405_657760_1221717713_n.jpg
Judith May Centers September 23, 2011 at 04:52 AM
Great story!memories will last a life time>>God bless them all and keep them all safe as 'they'; who are keeping us safe and free today know that they are in the hearts of every individual that pray for their safe return to their homes, friends & family.
Judith May Centers September 23, 2011 at 05:04 AM
good views on pics..

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