ESCANABA - Even before making the flight today to Washington D.C. as part of the U.P. Honor Flight, many of the World War II veterans began reminiscing about their time in the military during the war. They gathered Wednesday night to get instructions on the trip and to get acquainted with each other. After a short night, they would be on their way to see the memorial dedicated to the efforts they made so long ago.
Bob Moore of Marquette was in the Pacific Theater during the war. He was at the movies when the announcement was made that the war was over.
"A voice came on that said, 'Gentlemen, it looks the war is over. We dropped some kind of a crazy big huge bomb on Japan and it looks like that ended the war.' Of course, all hell broke loose," he said.
Craig Woerpel photo
Area World War II veterans board a plane at the Delta County Airport this morning on the second Upper Peninsula Honor Flight. The 79 veterans are making the trip to Washington D.C. today to see the World War II Memorial.
Moore almost felt disappointed by the news because he said he had no idea what he was going to do with his life next.
The 91-year-old former Marine pilot said he is making the trip to see the World War II Memorial because a friend told him what a wonderful time he had on the first U.P. Honor Flight.
"I realize it's going to be a fast and furious trip, but I guess the World War II Memorial would be the best to see. There might be a few names on there I might recognize," Moore said.
There are 79 World War II veterans making the second trip of the Upper Peninsula Honor Flight. They will be on a whirlwind tour of Washington, including stops at the Iwo Jima, Vietnam and Korea memorials.
"Everything has been going good," said Barb Van Rooy, who heads the U.P. Honor Flight program. "I'm always super nervous if it's going to go and if I forgot something. But nobody ever notices. There's a few thing up in the air yet."
After the first flight in September, many of the veterans commented on how organized the event was. It's that attention to detail that sent Van Rooy shopping for umbrellas, because it looks like it might rain. Volunteers were busy Wednesday setting up tables and getting information ready for the group.
The plane left the Delta County Airport at 6:30 a.m. It is scheduled to land in Baltimore at 8:30 a.m. The veterans are expected to arrive at the World War II Memorial before 11 a.m. They are expected to return to the U.P. at 9:30 p.m. tonight where they will be greeted by family members and well wishers welcoming them home.