Veterans Honor Flight of Southern Illinois
Invites Public to Welcome Home Ceremony
Plenty of Parking, Transportation, Food and Entertainment
Where will be you be at 5pm on Tuesday, September 28th? Hopefully at Veterans Airport of Southern Illinois in Marion to welcome home our Veterans from their day in Washington, DC!
Event organizers have been working most of the year on the Welcome Home Celebration and want to invite everyone to come out and enjoy the festivities.
“Community support for the previous Honor Flight Welcome Home events has been overwhelming!” stated Deborah Hogg, Welcome Home organizer. “There is no better way to celebrate our Veterans and honor them than by giving them a Hero’s welcome home.”
The 10-member Welcome Home Planning Committee meets monthly to organize the event which is expected to unite the community in honoring our Veterans.
In effort to keep our Veterans, volunteers, and those in attendance safe, the Welcome Home Celebration will be held outside at the front airport entrance. If social distancing cannot be maintained outside, we do ask guest to wear face masks. Those attending are welcome to bring lawn chairs.
“The community starts arriving at the airport about 5pm with banners and lawn chairs. It’s really a festival atmosphere all afternoon and evening.” stated Hogg.
Several food trucks are scheduled to participate in the Welcome Home Celebration including M.A. Filipino Cuisine, Easy Street Food Truck, B-Rad Bagels, and Deep South, who have all donated to Honor Flight of Southern Illinois.
Food service begins at 5pm and will last until all Veterans have walked the Freedom Path along the front entrance.
“And while the public is enjoying their dinner, they can also enjoy local entertainment.” stated Jared Garrison of the Welcome Home Planning Committee. “The entertainment line‐up for the evening includes Classical Guitarist, Skip Cutting and the JOY Singers from Marion First Baptist Church.”
The Welcome Home Ceremony will begin at 8pm with Emcee George Davis and Matt Throgmorton of Byassee Music and Sound will be singing the National Anthem.
Due to limited parking on airport grounds, the planning committee encourages the general public to utilize the free transportation buses from off‐site parking locations.
“Rides Mass Transit is happy to provide transportation service from three lots including Sam’s Club and Cornerstone Church as well as Community of Faith Church with buses continuously running between locations to ensure everyone has easy access to the event.” stated Jeffery Drake with Rides Mass Transit. Buses will run approximately every 20 minutes beginning at 5pm.
The Welcome Home Planning Committee encourages the public to bring banners and flags to the ceremony and wear patriotic attire.
If anyone has questions or needs assistance upon arrival at the airport, they can ask any of the volunteers stationed at various points throughout the airport grounds. All volunteers will be wearing bright orange lanyards.
“We hope everyone will come out to the airport to help us welcome home our Veterans. We want the Veterans to witness a sea of red, white and blue when they depart the plane.” stated the planning committee.
Veterans Honor Flight of Southern Illinois is an established 501c3 non‐profit hub of the Honor Flight network. All expenses for this one‐day trip are covered by Veterans Honor Flight of Southern Illinois including the flight, ground transportation, meals, and beverages. The trip is provided absolutely free of charge to the Veterans.
Veterans Honor Flight of Southern Illinois is implemented solely by volunteers with 96.5 cents of every dollar donated going straight to the Veterans.
For additional information or to apply to become a Guardian, Volunteer or Honor Flight Veteran, visit our website www.veteranshonorflight.org