SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Thirty-four aging heroes arrived at the Sacramento International Airport after visiting the World War II memorial in Washington D.C.

“Maybe its the last time we really get to show our gratitude,” said Steve Justus.

Statistics show on average that more than 700 World War II vets die everyday in the U.S. and many don’t get a chance to see the D.C. memorial, built in 2005.

To make sure they get to the nation’s capital, The Honor Flight Network organization and central valley supporters are making trips possible.

“Having built it so late, that our World War II veterans were no longer, to either physically or financially, to get back there without help,” said Justus.

“Well all of the monuments were just tremendous. I think my favorite was of course World War II,” said World War II veteran Richard Comen.

They fought the evils of Hitler and Natzi Germany. They’re considered the greatest generation.

“You’re the greatest generation, because when the crisis arrived, you stood up to it and no whining, no college deferments. None of that,” said Justus.

These California veterans were greeted by not only family and friends, but by complete strangers showing their gratitude.

“I get tears in my eyes. It’s just so special,” said Pricilla Thomas, a wife of a veteran. “It’s really neat to honor these guys who’ve been through so much, and still living, and be able to except this honor.”


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