Welcome Home, Bucko!
By: Katie Brandt
This weekend as we celebrate Memorial Day, let’s all take some time to remember the men and women who died while serving our country. We certainly owe so much to those who have fought for our country so that we may enjoy the many freedoms we have today. At the Korean War Memorial in Washington, DC etched in stone are the words “Freedom is Not Free.” It does come at a price. Recently, I was priviledged to honor and welcome home 105 World War II and Korean War Veterans as they returned to Midway Airport after their day on Honor Flight Chicago #70. My Dad was one who was honored that day, and it was an incredible experience for him as well as for everyone in attendance. To witness these men, who are in the twilight of their lives, being honored and Welcomed Home was truly beyond words. Many were brought to tears – whether it was because of the kindness of strangers or memories of friends lost, this is a day that will be etched in their hearts forever. From the moment they got off the plane and all throughout the terminal and baggage claim area, people were clapping, waving American flags, holding up signs, shaking their hands and saying “Thank you for your service.” All of these men were in their 80’s and even one 98 years old. They each have their own story but were united by their love for this country. These men fought in two wars many moons ago, but we have many service men and woman today who are doing what these men did – serving our country. If you know of anyone currently serving or who has served, take this Memorial Day weekend to thank them. If you know of any World War II or Korean War veterans, please encourage them to check out HonorFlightChicago.org.
Katie Brandt is is Assistant Director of Family Ministry at Old St. Pat’s.