Letter to the Editor: Heartfelt thanks
BY John P. Lane, Tulsa
Sunday, June 19, 2011
6/19/11 at 3:14 AM
I was one of the 104 veterans on Honor Flight No. 4 and never, in my wildest imagination, could I have dreamed what we experienced. From the reception June 7 at Owasso High School, to the departure on a Wednesday morning, June 8, at Tulsa International Airport, where Mayor Dewey Bartlett gave each one of us a handshake and a thank-you.
When arriving in Baltimore, on our chartered plane, we were greeted by a Naval admiral with a welcome handshake and thank-you. This type of greeting happened throughout the trip by people of all ages.
The World War II Memorial was huge and extremely impressive. We were able to visit the "Wall," the Korean Memorial and Nurses Memorial as well; we had a drive-by for the Iwo Jima Memorial - all being outstanding. Our last stop was Arlington Cemetery, visiting the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and changing of the guards.
We had "mail call" on the bus back to the airport and everyone received an envelope with a dozen handmade notes from schoolchildren in the Tulsa area thanking us for the service to our country.
When arriving back to Tulsa there were from 400-500 people to welcome us home with flags, music, clapping, thanks, handshakes and pats on the backs. Words cannot express the emotions after the incredible day we had experienced.
My heartfelt thanks to the Oklahoma Honor Flights, the Tulsa committee, the volunteer guardians who helped each of us during the day, and to Eric Proctor, our group bus captain.
May God continue to bless this effort.
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Bataan Death March survivor Phillip W. Coon, (left) of Sapulpa, poses for a photo with Michael Coon at the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., on June 8 as part of the Oklahoma Honor Flights. ANN HEISENFELT/for the Tulsa World