BATON ROUGE – On Tuesday, Honor Flight Louisiana, the Louisiana hub of the national Honor Flight Network, announced today that they have suspended planned Honor Flights for the rest of the year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and other factors.
The decision comes on the heels of the national Honor Flight Network extending the suspension of all Honor Flight travel through the remainder of calendar year 2020.
“Since 2018, we have flown 28 Veterans to our nation’s capital. We had high expectations for 2020, with over 55 Veterans on our waiting list. After canceling our April 25 flight, we focused all our attention to October 3 to make it the best and most memorable flight yet. Now with the October cancellation, we are disappointed we are unable to honor our nation’s veterans the best way we know how”, says Dillon Mathies, founder and Chairman of Honor Flight Louisiana.
The organization flies World War II, Korean War, and Vietnam War veterans to Washington, D.C. for an all-expense paid trip to visit the memorials dedicated to those wars. The trip includes a visit to the National Mall, where veterans can experience the World War II Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial and Korean and Vietnam War Memorials, among others. They also visit Arlington National Cemetery to witness a Changing of the Guard and participate in a Wreath Laying Ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
After making the decision, the Honor Flight Louisiana Board of Directors immediately began looking for alternative ways to honor Veterans, since time is of the essence for the oldest group of them.
“We are planning an event for late in the calendar year for all Guardians and Veterans who have flown with us so far, as well as anyone who was on our waiting list this year”, says Dillon.
The event will likely be held in New Orleans at the National World War II Museum. All plans are tentative to changes in COVID-19 restrictions.