Louisiana Honor Air Takes Final Flight Memorial Day Weekend
The last flight of the Louisiana Honor Air Project departed from Lafayette Regional Airport on Saturday this Memorial Day weekend. It's hard to believe the very first flight of our Louisiana WWII Veterans took off for Washington DC more than four years ago on May 12, 2007.
For myself and I know I speak for many of us here at KTDY and at our Townsquare Media sister stations, this project has been the ultimate labor of love. Truly a highlight in my 30 years of radio and television broadcasting.
The mission of Louisiana HonorAir has been to provide every able bodied WWII veteran who can travel, the opportunity to visit their World War II Memorial in Washington DC.
The World War II Memorial was built in 2004 for the men and women of "Our Greatest Generation." The majority of our youngest living WWII Veterans are now in their 80's. Many of them who fought for our freedom have not had an opportunity, or the ability to visit the monument built in their honor.
Louisiana Honor Air is a whirlwind one day trip to Washington DC where the WWII Vets visit their memorial as well as other war monuments. There is also a special ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery with Government officials, diplomats and special guests.
Louisiana Honor Air flew its final mission Saturday, May 28th with 79 WWII Heroes onboard. This was the 22nd Louisiana Honor Air flight. To date, 11 flights have departed from Lafayette, 4 from Shreveport, 4 from Baton Rouge and 3 from New Orleans. About 2,200 WWII Veterans have flown with Louisiana Honor Air thanks to donations from the public and private sectors that total well over $700.000.
This amazing project for our deserving WWII Veterans has gained national and local media attention, warranting print, radio and television coverage. You can view the four part series airing on KATC TV3 about Louisiana Honor Air by clicking on these segments; Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4. You can also visit the Louisiana Honor Air Facebook page to view their photo albums.
Louisiana Honor Air was the original vision of TD Smith, a former radio host here at Townsquare Media of Lafayette. TD launched the entire project back in 2007 with the help of our radio stations, the Community Foundation of Acadiana, Rayne State Bank and what is now known as the official Louisiana Honor Air Project.