Article and Photos by:
Michael B. Gunn, Ph.D.
Past President, Patriot Graves Chair CCSAR
Dr. R. Edgar Bonniwell
On Tuesday night May 21st the Cincinnati Color Guard participated in an Honor Flight Reception of our military veterans, welcoming them back from their one-day trip in Washington, DC. Hundreds of people were present. Bagpipers in their full regalia were present. How moving the event was; the veterans were greeted by us, and hundreds of others, as we saluted them and thanked them for their service. All the branches of service were represented. One man wore his sailor’s cap, others wore the insignias of their particular branch of service; Marines, Coast Guard, Air Force; several had purple hearts and bore wounds in their bodies that could be seen outwardly. Such men and women, who constituted this Honor Flight, seemed to be a sea of humanity taken from every corner of our great country. Vietnam vets, Korean veterans, even several from WWII, and more recent wars, either walked before us, or were pushed by us in wheelchairs.
These were men and women were willing to give the last full measure of devotion. It was so moving as they made their approach coming down that long corridor, the bagpipes playing the theme song of each of our branches of service, Anchors Aweigh, Down We Dive, From the Halls of Montezuma, The Army Goes Rolling Along, Semper Paratus. It was an extraordinary evening, and all of us came home rejoicing that the liberty we know and enjoy is bought for us every day by those who will fight and die for our freedoms.
The Cincinnati Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution (Cincinnati SAR) have included participation in the return of Honor Flights at CVG for several years now. Our members, who join other SAR & DAR members from Kentucky Chapters, and several other groups as a funnel through which those veterans come through the arrival passage, returning from the long day spent in Washington D.C. as members of an Honor Flight.
As those who have served us during their time in the military pass out of the secure area hallway from a flight, we see they are very tired after such a long day, but the spirit shown on those mostly wrinkled faces shows brightly. Since there are a few hundred people cheering loudly, encouraged by Mrs. Beinecke and others. However, the intent of the crowd is not misunderstood, we honor those who gave so much so we are able to have the freedom and liberties enjoyed here in our most wonderful country.
Present at this event was President Lee Wilkerson, Dr. Michael Gunn, Dr. Ed Bonniwell, Bob Bowers, Michael Blum and his daughter, and George Stewart.