Honor Flight Rochester was preparing a special event for veterans on the 20-year anniversary of 9/11, but renewed concerns about COVID-19 forced them to postpone the organization’s season of charity work once again.
Co-founders Peter Glennon and Richard Stewart were disappointed but confident they made the right decision. Honor Flight Rochester takes veterans, frequently older World War II veterans, to see the monuments dedicated to them in Washington D.C. – free of charge.
Since 2008, Honor Flight Rochester has partnered with airlines like Southwest and hotels like Hilton to celebrate U.S. veterans, who board a plane to D.C., disembark to applause, and tour the city and its monuments as the heroes they are.
Keeping Veterans Safe
Peter Glennon tells WHEC the flights are a way to “recharge your emotional batteries,” but emphasizes the importance of keeping veterans safe from COVID-19 and alive:
“They are living history. They are treasures. We have to keep them that way.”
Co-Founder Richard Stewart agrees, recognizing just how devastating a COVID infection could be for an 85- or 90-year-old veteran.
“That [exposing an elderly person to COVID-19] is about as awful a thing that you can do to someone,” he told WHEC.
Still, Honor Flight organizers are disappointed because the 6-month delay could spell the difference for some veterans’ ability to attend the trip – and because the organization’s missions are so special.
As Richard Stewart explains to Rochester First:
“It’s special, it really is… The veterans are with other veterans who went through the same thing 50, 60, and 70 years ago. And they open up, and they become friends for the weekend.”
Honoring Thousands of Veterans
To date, Honor Flight Rochester has flown 69 missions and taken 3,378 veterans from the Greater Rochester region to Washington D.C. Peter Glennon estimates there are just over 1,000 veterans waiting to fly, and the charity typically flies 350 veterans each year. The postponed salute would have honored 60 veterans and offered a special tribute on the 20th anniversary of the September 11th terror attacks, but with the Delta variant and rising numbers, Honor Flight Rochester was forced to cancel 2 weeks before the event when everyone was “all dressed up and ready to go.”
Glennon tells Rochester First the organization hopes to have wheels up in the spring if COVID-19 numbers drop.
He speaks directly to veterans to close out the Rochester First article:
“We are postponing but mission 70 for Honor Flight Rochester will take flight…The reality is we’d rather keep you safe here around friends and family. You’re that important to us.”
How Else Does The Glennon Law Firm, P.C. Help the Community?
Attorney Peter Glennon is a community leader in the Rochester area. In addition to his work with Honor Flight Rochester, he is a skilled attorney at The Glennon Law Firm, P.C.
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