WASHINGTON — The Nebraska World War II veterans arrived Friday evening at National Airport, their plane welcomed by twin water hose salutes from a pair of airport fire engines.
A group of Nebraska Society members, Washington-area Cornhusker transplants and Nebraska congressional aides was on hand inside the terminal, waving American flags and signs thanking the veterans for their service.
It was the third such flight to come out from Hall County, said Don Shuda, chairman of the World War II Hall County Hero Flight Committee.
“It's just great, just seeing the emotion on their faces,” he said.
The group planned to visit the National World War II Memorial and other sites during the trip, which involves 50 veterans.
Half of the group arrived Friday night. The other half was due to arrive Saturday.
Terri Connell was among those with Nebraska ties who came to the airport to welcome the vets.
Now a teacher in Fairfax County, Va., Connell presented the veterans with letters written by her fourth-grade class.
Max Cates, 88, of Grand Island was a gunner on a Sherman tank in Europe from 1943 to 1946. Cates said he was overwhelmed by the reception as he walked off the plane.
“I never expected something like this,” he said, beaming.
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