Knowing Your Neighbor: Honor Flight Northland

DULUTH, Minn. — After 14 years, the Northland Honor Flight is still remembering and honoring the sacrifice of veterans by bringing them on a meaningful journey to the nation’s Capital.

93 veterans along with family members and volunteers left from the Duluth Airport and traveled to Washington D.C Saturday  May 13 to visit memorials dedicated to their service.

“Everything was just wonderful, I can’t tell anybody enough how wonderful it was to be a part of this honor flight and all the guardians, everybody pitched in, everybody, it’s amazing,” said Veteran Ron Matson.

One of the flyers served in World War II, around a dozen served in the Korean War, and the rest were Vietnam veterans and now years later they were given the chance to take a packed day trip honoring them.

The flight called for an early morning start, but the eager veterans were already prepared and ready to start the adventure.

“What it means to me is, when I get here at 3 A.M. and there is already two veterans waiting to go, that’s actually what it means to me, it means a lot of them so it means a lot to me, ” said Judy Greske, Honor Flight Northland Flight Coordinator.

One veteran was Ron Matson, who served in the Navy as a Boiler Technician, Matson said visiting the memorials reminded him of all the lives that have been loss for his country.

“Great reminder of prices that have paid for out freedom, I just want to thank everybody for that support, the police, the fire department, the news media, we have a great country,” said Matson.

The flight returned late Saturday night and the vets were welcomed home with tremendous love from family and friends.

One volunteer on the flight was Vietnam Veteran Chuck Ferrell, who was been on the flight for 11 years.

“My friend up here was on the first flight, I’m from Minneapolis, and he told me about it, and I told him I want to be on it and I’ve been on it ever since,” said Ferrell.

The flight will continue to bring joy to those across the northland who served their country, giving them an honorable trip and celebrating their sacrifice.

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