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Honor Flight Cleveland takes local vets on an emotional, unforgettable trip to DC

Posted at 6:31 PM, Nov 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-11 18:31:52-05

CLEVELAND — This summer, News 5 was granted the opportunity to tag along with Honor Flight Cleveland — good people doing great things for local veterans, taking them to Washington DC to see the memorials and the monuments dedicated to them for all they did, and all they continue to do.

The group of four Ohio veterans served our nation in times of great need when they were practically kids. Their memories of war become more distant by the day.

The Ohio veterans were joined by another 18 men in Washington D.C. as part of Honor Flight Cleveland, a group whose mission is helping our aging veterans with honor and closure.

Honor Flight took them to sacred sites like Arlington Cemetery to pay tribute to the Unknown Soldier. Even though the name isn't known, the sacrifice is.

The journey took them from memorial to memorial, each dedicated to different branches of service, different periods of time and different wars.

"It's such an emotional day, I feel so proud and honored to have been a part of it,” said Army veteran Dan Trifelos.

All of them stopping just long enough to gaze into the figures from their past. And for a moment live in those memories.

While they recall the sacrifices so many of our fallen brothers have made, they stop to visit Sharon Lane of Canton, Ohio, killed by enemy fire while tending to sick and injured Vietnamese civilians. She is one of only eight women on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Near the day's end, an awareness of their presence grew, with people beginning to recognize them, revere them and remember them. Grateful citizens dismissed the veterans’ fears that somehow they might be forgotten.

"Aside from the passing of my parents, it was probably the second most emotional experience I've ever had in my life,” Trifelos said.

Honor Flight created new memories these veterans will take back to Ohio and live out the rest of their days with honor.

Watch Rob Powers’ full story on this recent Honor Flight in the video player above.