More Than 70 Florida Veterans Honored with a Hero’s Welcome in Emotional Moment

by Michael Freeman

The time on and around September 11 makes many realize the sacrifice and emotional toil our country’s veterans endure. Recognizing this, Miami prepared a hero’s welcome for a group of 70 veterans returning to Florida from an Honor Flight.

70 veterans spanning three wars returned to Miami from an Honor Flight and received an emotional welcome. The Honor Flight visited war memorials in Washington D.C., with the veterans aboard having served in World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.

This was the first post-pandemic Honor Flight hosted by Miami International Airport. Partnering with Honor Flight South Florida and Global Crossing Airline, the veterans departed on September 11. Fittingly, they rode on GlobalX flight #1941, named after the first year of WWII. After touring war memorials and other military sites in Washington D.C., the veterans returned on flight #1945, the last year of WWII.

Moreover, upon their return, the veterans found a line of local and federal honor guards, elected officials, and family and friends waiting for them. The townspeople gathered to thank the brave soldiers for their service and sacrifices. MIA Interim Director Ralph Cutié gave a statement on the welcoming.

“MIA is proud to once again have hosted this special tribute for our local war heroes, many of whom were visiting our nation’s war memorials for the first time,” said MIA Interim Director Ralph Cutié. “They fought for the freedoms we enjoy today and deserve events like the Honor Flight that salute their service,” CBS4 Miami reports.

Honor Flight South Florida is a 100 percent all-volunteer organization. It dedicates itself solely to honor veterans and paid for all the veterans’ travel fees. Additionally, they handled meals, police escorts, commemorative tee shirts, and other amenities.

NY Senators Honor 102-Year-Old World War II Veteran with Proclamation

Further north, another veteran was honored by his home state. 102-year-old WWII veteran James Lisa received a proclamation from the New York State Senate on September 3, thanking him for his service.

Residing in Fresh Meadows, Queens, Lisa celebrated his 102nd birthday on August 25. Born in Corona in 1919, he was drafted into the U.S. Army to fight in WWII. Lisa served in the 31st Infantry Division and went to train in Camp Shelby in Mississippi and West Virginia. He later went to New Guinea and the Pacific. Unfortunately, he endured a shrapnel injury while repairing communications lines and an attack occurred. This led to a discharge in 1946, with him receiving a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star.

The proclamation honored Lisa’s birthday and served as an observance of Senior Month. Furthermore, New York State Senators John Liu and Toby Ann Stavisky presented the honor. “Mr. Lisa has witnessed and celebrated the innovations, cultural developments, and awesome achievements of this country during the last century, while himself contributing to the growth and excellence of this great Empire State.”