Big Apple Honor Flight honors war veterans with DC trip

The Big Apple Honor Flight honored war heroes on Saturday with a special trip to Washington, D.C.

The nonprofit, run by volunteers, takes veterans on a day trip from NYC to see the memorials created in their honor, including the WWII Memorial, the Korean War Veterans Memorial and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

The veterans met Saturday morning at LaGuardia Airport, wearing pride on their faces during the kickoff ceremony. 

Beginning in 2017, the Big Apple Honor Flight selects a group of veterans for the annual journey. Because of a pause caused by the pandemic, 2024 marks its fourth mission. The flight is free for the veterans in honor of their sacrifice.

Attendee Larry Pleasant served in the Vietnam War as a young marine. Decades later, he carries with him the sadness and scars that come with war.

"I have a list of 58 names on the Vietnam Wall," Pleasant told FOX 5 NY.

Veteran Frank Romano has similar memories. Originally from Long Island, Romano recalled his first holiday away from home. 

"[Big Apple Honor Flight] was a bucket list, and I thought I would never see this," Romano said. 

Veterans interested can apply to take the trip on the organization’s website,

"For a lot of these veterans, this is the first time they will see these sites built for them, so very special for them to get down there," said Mark Giordano, the chair and executive director of the Big Apple Honor Flight.