It’s Military Appreciation Month, and the leaders of the Honor Flight Network are celebrating the program’s 250,000th visit by a veteran to the National Mall.
On Tuesday, Elizabeth Dole, a former senator, who with her late husband was a longtime supporter of the Honor Flight Network, will attend the event.
Dole’s late husband, Sen. Bob Dole, was a World War II veteran. The two often accompanied veterans on Honor Flight visits to the World War II memorial.
The network arranges for veterans to visit D.C. to see the memorials that honor their service. According to the organization, 25,000 veterans a year have been able to make the trip to the nation’s capital.
Starting June 1, the National Park Service and the U.S. Park Police will resume their partnership with the Honor Flight program. Park rangers and Park Police will once again be greeting veterans at the memorial of the veteran’s choice, assisting in parking and providing ranger-led programs to the visitors.
The program had been suspended in spring 2020 due to COVID-19.
“It’s a very personally satisfying thing for a police officer” to bring veterans to the memorials, said Sgt. Thomas Twiname, a Park Police spokesman.
“Different generations of veterans all have different experiences,” Twiname said, adding many veterans had never before visited D.C. before their visit to the National Mall. “We respect and honor the service that our veterans have provided to our country.”