Hear about an Honor Flight

To the Editor:

May 4, 2019 was a day he will remember with a grateful heart. “We were treated like heroes, both here in Albany and when we landed in Washington, D.C.”

Tom Smith, a man moving into the latter half of his eighth decade, was recently treated to an Honor Flight. The Honor Flight Network is a not-for-profit group transporting veterans to Washington, D.C. free of charge. Their mission is to “honor the service and sacrifices of American veterans,” with senior and terminally ill veterans pressing to the top of the list.

Smith, who settled in the Berne area 60-plus years ago, enlisted in the Navy and served on an aircraft carrier from 1951 to 1955 during the Korean years. Four of his brothers also enlisted in the military — two served in the Marines, one joined the Air Force, and the fourth was in the Navy.

He had a sister who worked for the Salvation Army in Mount Vernon, New York where they all grew up.

When asked how he was set up to go on this memorable trip, Smith said he has Sean Lyons and his wife, Jennifer, to thank for arranging the trip. He was picked up at 4:30 a.m. on May 4 and was on his way.

On Monday, June 24, at 7 p.m., Smith will be sharing his Honor Flight experience at the Berne Historical Society’s June meeting, held at the Berne Public Library. You will see through the eyes of this Navy veteran the monuments seen, the changing of the guard at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and the care he was given throughout the day.

Smith said: “It’s nice to know there are some people left who put their time and effort into remembering us.” All are encouraged to please join us and experience the Honor Flight first-hand. Refreshments are certain to appear.

Sandra Stempel

Berne Historical Society

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