MOLINE, Ill. — News 8 has the honor of being the media representative allowed to tag along on the 58th Honor Flight of the Quad Cities on Tuesday, Sept. 19. The event is sponsored by Hy-Vee.
We will be adding to this story throughout the day with updates from our team member Jenny Hipskind, who is on the flight. The most recent updates will be at the top. A full itinerary of the trip can be found at the bottom of the article.
Tune in to Good Morning Quad Cities on Wednesday, Sept. 20, for more coverage of the Hy-Vee Honor Flight of the Quad Cities.
Around 6 p.m. ET: Veterans took a group photo in front of the Lincoln Memorial after going to the various war memorials on the National Mall, including the Korean and Vietnam memorials.
Around 4 p.m. ET: After the Changing of the Guard, the Honor Flight went to the Military Women's Memorial. Kris Cundiff, the only woman veteran on the trip, was able to add her name to the registry at the memorial.
Around 3 p.m. ET: The Hy-Vee Honor Flight of the Quad Cities visited Arlington Cemetery to witness the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The guard will do a special "scuff" during his 21 steps to honor the veterans in attendance.
Around 1 p.m. ET: The next stop of the Honor Flight took veterans to the World War II Memorial located along the National Mall.
One of the Honor Flight's special guests is 96-year-old Albert Van Teighem Sr. of East Moline. He is the only World War II veteran on today's flight. News 8's Jonathan Fong spoke with Teighem before this year's flight departed.
Around 9:30 ET: The group landed at Dulles Airport and disembarked from the planes. Veterans were greeted by enthusiastic schoolchildren from Arcola Elementary in Loudoun County, Virginia, singing patriotic songs.
After getting on the buses, the group headed to their first stop at the Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia. It's the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum's annex at Dulles Airport. Veterans will be able to see thousands of aviation and space artifacts, including the Enola Gay. This specific aircraft dropped the first nuclear bomb during WWII, leading to Japan's surrender.
The group departed from the Quad Cities International Airport early this morning.
Editor's Note: The information below was published on Monday, Sept. 18.
More information on the Honor Flight
Nearly 80 deserving veterans will fly to Washington D.C. to see the memorials dedicated to them and their comrades. This flight includes one World War II veteran, three Korean War veterans, and many Vietnam War veterans.
Flight #58 is sponsored by Hy-Vee Food Stores of the Quad Cities, Clinton, and North Scott, the 13th flight that Hy-Vee has sponsored. Hy-Vee Quad Cities' marketing and communications manager Debbie Geisler serves as Flight Commander. Hy-Vee also provided a special pre-flight dinner on Sept. 11 for the veterans and their guardians.
The Honor Flight reserves a seat for a media representative on each flight and rotates between local media agencies. Content Coordinator Jenny Hipskind gets the escort honor on this flight. Jenny has been with News 8 since 2004, having been a videographer for more than 14 years before switching to story coordination for the newsroom.
The day is packed from start to finish, covering more than 8 different museums and monuments. Geisler estimates that the visitors walk around four miles, getting on and off the buses seven or eight times.
- 6:45 a.m. CT- Departure from Quad Cities International Airport
- 10:00 a.m. ET- Arrive at Dulles International Airport
- 11:15 a.m.- Tour the Udvar-Hazy Center, the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum's annex at Dulles Airport
- 1:10 p.m.- Drive by the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial
- 1:20 p.m.- Tour the WWII Memorial
- 2:30 p.m.- Pick up military escort to Arlington National Cemetery
- 3:00 p.m.- Watch the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
- 3:50 p.m.- Visit the Military Women's Memorial
- 4:40 p.m.- Tour the Lincoln, Vietnam Veterans, Korean War Veterans Memorials
- 6:10 p.m.- Visit the Air Force Memorial
- 7:00 p.m.- Head back to Dulles Airport for an 8:50 p.m. ET departure
- 9:45 p.m. CT- Arrive back at QCIA in Moline
The public is encouraged to give the veterans a warm welcome home by greeting them at the Quad Cities International Airport around 10 p.m. Tuesday. Parking is free.
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