WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - It's a trip World War II Veteran Ray Miller said he'll never forget.
"It's the flight of a lifetime," said Miller.
Miller, along with 79 veterans, was a part of the first Lafayette Honor Flight trip to Washington, D.C. back in April of 2012.
"The guided tour was so good," said Miller. "We got to see all of the essential parts of Washington and all of the monuments and all of the sites there."
So when Miller heard the Honor Flight program would be stopped due to the government shutdown, he naturally could only feel one way.
"Well, I had a feeling of sadness," said Miller.
Miller wasn't the only one who felt that way. Peaceful protests were held both in Indianapolis and around the country as veterans rallied to have their voices heard.
And those voices were heard.
"We did get a letter from the National Honor Flight saying that now, the World War II Veteran Memorial, and also the Korean War Memorial will be accessible to Honor Flight's only," said Gold Star Mother Dana Vann. "So they are to push the barricades aside and go in and enjoy their memorial, and then replace them as they leave."
Vann said she couldn't be happier with the decision. She said it's a small choice that makes a huge impact on many veterans' lives.
"Some of these men have never been to Washington, D.C., and this is their only opportunity to see the memorial that stands in their honor," said Vann. "So it was really important that the Honor Flights get to continue going, and that veterans get to see their memorial once they're out there."
To those who made their voices heard and made the re-opening of the monuments possible, Miller said thank you.
"Thank you, and thank the good Lord for making it possible for going there and for serving our country and for the opportunity to participate in preserving our freedom," said Miller. "Thank you."
The next Lafayette Honor Flight is scheduled for this coming May. Vann said 87 veterans from our area are going on the trip. She said it's going to be a full flight.
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