I recently accompanied my 93-year-old father, a World War II veteran, on a Leatherstocking Honor Flight. Words have not been invented to express what we experienced.
The Patriot Guard, police cars and fire engine accompanied us to the airport in the rain. At the airport, we were greeted with cheers and applause from hundreds of people waving flags at 6 a.m. A band was playing patriotic songs and we were treated to speeches from current service people and Rep. Paul Tonko. The veterans were treated like royalty, as they should be. WGY radio was broadcasting live.
In Washington, D.C., our buses were escorted by a police car with lights and sirens. My father, who is in a wheelchair and on oxygen, was assigned one of the four nurses who accompanied us. Margaret was unobtrusive but always right there when we needed her. She was wonderful. We were taken to all the memorials and met with Sen. Bob Dole.
Many thanks to Rhonda Cooper, who tirelessly arranged the entire trip and enjoyed it as much as we did, even though she has done this more than 20 times. When we returned to Albany at midnight we were greeted by a crowd of cheering people with flags. It was awesome. My only question is, where was the press? Where were the cameras?