PLATTSBURGH — Saturday will mark the first North Country Honor Flight of 2014, flying local World War II veterans to their national memorial in Washington, D.C.
North Country Honor Flight will fly a total of seven flights from Plattsburgh and several from Burlington throughout the spring and fall of 2014.
This year, more than 140 area World War II veterans will be taken to Washington, at no cost to them.
Departure ceremonies for the first Honor Flight start at 7 a.m. Saturday at the U.S. Oval parade grounds at the former Plattsburgh Air Force Base.
A flag ceremony will be held at 7:30 a.m., followed by a parade lap and motorcade to Plattsburgh International Airport. The public is encouraged to attend this ceremony to help see the veterans off.
Departure ceremonies at the airport will be held from 8 to 8:50 a.m., followed by boarding for the 9:30 a.m. flight to Baltimore-Washington International Airport.
While in Washington for the one-day tour, veterans and their guardians will first visit the National World War II Memorial for a ceremony thanking them for their service and honoring the 400,000 who never came home.
Following that, they will visit Arlington National Cemetery and the Iwo Jima Monument.
Veterans will be the guests of honor for a dinner at the Howard County Memorial Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8097 in Jessup, Md., before departing for a 9 p.m. charter flight back to Plattsburgh.
They will return to Plattsburgh International Airport for a welcome-home ceremony at 10:30 p.m. The public is again encouraged to attend.
In 2013, the inaugural year for North Country Honor Flight, 80 veterans made the trip to Washington.
Honor Flight also takes part in educational events at high schools and colleges throughout the region, reminding a new generation of students of the sacrifices made by these heroes 70 years ago.