WASHINGTON, D.C. (WBTV) - The flight they waited 70 years to take, left Charlotte at 8:30 a.m. 108 Veterans boarded a US Airways flight and took off on the trip of a lifetime.
The group was part of a cost-free tour of the World War II Memorial in Washington. The men and women were part of a Rotary District 7680 tour called "Flight of Honor". Private donations fund the more than $60,000 needed to fly a group for the day.
We went along for the ride and saw the tears as the veterans walked along the granite walls of the monument, featuring more than 4,000 gold stars. Each star represents 100 Americans lost in WWII.
The laughter and smiles were also a large feature. The group was treated to cheers and flags at every stop. Before boarding the flight back to Charlotte, a group of swing dancers treated the veterans to some lively entertainment.
The smiles were endless, as it seemed the trip would be. When the tour arrived back in Charlotte, late enough to think there would be no one there waiting, they were greeted by at least 200 people lined along the arrival area of Charlotte-Douglas Airport.
The tears came again, but these were happy ones.