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Harold Kingman, 85, of Platte City was on the Kansas City Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. recently. Twenty-seven veterans and 13 guardians left KCI early that morning and were met by crowds of people at Reagan National Airport. First stop (shown) was at the World War II monument where classrooms of kids were cheering and thanking the veterans for their service. The group also went to Iowa Jima, Arlington National Cemetery, Vietnam, Korean, Lincoln and Air Force Memorials and toured D.C.

Honor Flight was originated in 2005. The WWII monument was completed in 2004. Kingman, who lives with his wife just off of Running Horse Road in Platte City, is the father of Christine McQuitty, the former Platte County Assessor.

The trips are called “Honor Flights” and for the veterans, who are in their late 80s and early 90s, it’s often the first time they’ve been thanked and the last trip of their lives. The 24-hour journey is full of surprises that deeply move all who are involved. It’s uncommon for World War II veterans to talk about the war, but the Honor Flight experience brings their stories out. Many veterans say, with the exception of their wedding day and the birth of their children, the trip is the best day of their life.

The Honor Flight Network is a nonprofit organization that has flown over 100,000 veterans to Washington, DC. It consists of 117 hubs across the country. If you’d like to get involved or donate to the cause, visit www.honorflight.org.

Locally, the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) supports and raises funds for Honor Flight. McQuitty told The Landmark that Donna Nash, former Platte County Collector, was instrumental in raising funds for her dad and his group to go.
Contributed photo