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Ennis Daily News

Honor Flight sending more to D.C.

Each World War II veteran was a hero, according to Marylyn Wylie who spoke to the Ennis Kiwanis Club members at their meeting Thursday.
Wylie is president of Ennis Honor Flight and organized the first Honor Flight in Texas. Honor Flight is a program that takes World War II veterans to Washington D.C. to visit the World War II monument and the other sites in Washington D.C.
The country is losing 1,200 to 1,500 World War II veterans every day, so time is of the essence when getting them to Washington D.C., Wylie said. Ennis residents raised money for the trip and even the schools pitched in by raising $1,500. The Ennis Junior High School’s Junior Historians also helped tremendously in the fund-raising efforts.
“The people of Ennis really stepped up to the plate to take the veterans to Washington,” Wylie said.
It is important that World War II veterans get to visit their monument, Wylie said. Wylie’s goal is to spread the program to every community in the state of Texas.
Ennis Honor Flight took their trip to Washington D.C. in May. The Patriot Guard Motorcycle Club escorted the veterans to Dallas-Fort Worth Airport. When they landed in Washington, the brass section from the Washington D.C. Symphony Orchestra was there to greet them, Wylie said.
After their arrival, they were taken to see the World War II memorial. That evening, they attended a banquet in the veterans’ honor. The next day, they visited Arlington National Cemetery and were treated to a special tour of the Pentagon.
“They started their journey as old men, and by the end of their trip, they were in their 20s again,” Wylie said.
The veterans spoke with each other about the war, and about where they were stationed during it. They found out that they had a lot in common.
“Every World War II veteran has a story to tell,” Wylie said. “Some veterans hadn’t spoken about the war since it ended.”
Many people don’t know about the sacrifices some of those veterans had to make in order to keep America safe, she said.
“If it weren’t for them, we wouldn’t have the lives we have today,” Wylie said. “They truly saved the world.”
Now, the Ennis Junior Historians are planning a Washington D.C. trip of their own, so they can learn about the history of our country and the sacrifices made in times of war. Since they helped the Honor Flight raise money for their trip, Honor Flight is helping them. A chili supper fund-raiser will be held Jan. 24 at Baylor Baptist Church.
There is money left over from the veterans’ trip to Washington D.C., so Wylie has helped set up a scholarship in honor of the World War II Honor Flight. The scholarship will be $1,000 a year, and any high school senior who has a relative that is a World War II veteran may apply.
The Ennis Kiwanis Club meets Thursdays at noon at the I.O.O.F. Retirement Center.

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Posted by on Jan 23 2009. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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