They fought far from home for freedom and today more than two dozen Northeast Ohio World War II veterans are visiting the monument built to honor their service and sacrifice in Washington D.C.
Honor Flight Cleveland provided the trip for the veterans to the World War II Memorial. The day-long trip will also include stops at Arlington National Cemetery and the Iwo Jima Monument.
For many of the veterans, the monuments are reminders of days that are permanently etched in their memories. "I was in four invasions. But that one on Iwo Jima was the worst of them all. I think we had almost 50 percent casualties there. It was quite an experience," said Tom Malaney, one of the veterans.
The Ford Motor Company sponsors the trip making it free for the veterans.
Six more trips are planned for later this year.
Since 2007, Honor Flight Cleveland has provided free trips to more than 2,300 veterans to the memorials honoring their service in D.C. The majority of those flights have been for World War II veterans. The organization is funded solely by donations.