United States Park Police will resume escorts for Honor Flight events in our nation’s capital after issues within the Department of Interior have been resolved, according to the New York Post. The Honor Flight events, hosted by the nonprofit Honor Flight Network, bring America’s veterans to visit areas of the National Mall including where war memorials have been constructed in their honor. The new arrangement will allow park rangers and Park Police officers to welcome the veterans to their chosen site, assist with parking and visitor entry, and lead programs about each site.
Honor Flight Network CEO Meredith Rosenbeck shared that they are “grateful for the renewed commitment of support from the National Parks Service and USPP to ensure the safety of our veterans during this visit of a lifetime.” Many veterans needing special medical and/or financial assistance have the opportunity to visit the National Mall because of the nonprofit which organizes the trips for them.
According to the New York Post, Honor Flight Network was “running up to 300 flights a year into the capital from sites across the country.” On Tuesday, May 3, Honor Flight Network celebrated its 250,000th veteran going through the program. They held a special event marking the 250,000th visitor at the World War II Memorial featuring guest speakers including Sen. Elizabeth Dole who served as chairwoman of the celebration.
Honor Flight Network was formed in 2005 by Jeff Miller and Earl Morse to honor America’s veterans by bringing them to Washington, D.C. “to visit the memorials and monuments dedicated to their service and sacrifice.” Initially, Honor Flight Network focused on bringing World War II veterans to the sites, but has expanded their network honoring those who served in the “Korean War, Vietnam war, intermediary operations, and in special cases of terminal illness or injury, veterans from more recent service eras.”
The announcement that Honor Flight events will resume on June 1 came at exceptional timing as America celebrates Military Appreciation Month during the month of May. Honoring our national heroes is a tremendously important tradition that must always continue as should the respect shown for them at the special sites that make up the National Mall.