Yesterday, I flew Delta Air Lines to Washington, DC. It started like any other mundane business trip other than departing from Atlanta’s international terminal. I took the opportunity to visit Delta’s Sky Club where I caught a glimpse of my airplane to DC.

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I would soon find out why the aircraft was so aptly named “The Spirit of Freedom.” Arriving at the gate I found quite the mob scene of people and what appeared to be a higher than average number of older passengers, many of whom were in wheelchairs. Honor Flight Conyers was transporting a number of our Nation’s World War II, Korea, and Vietnam veterans to Washington, DC for the day.

Yes, boarding took a little while, but rather gripe about it, all of us “elites” with pre boarding privileges stood and applauded as each of these heroes took the time they needed to get on board and get comfortable. I was actually one of the last to board, finding Comfort Plus mostly occupied with veterans, I couldn’t help but smile as one of the flight attendant working first class was making sure each vet had a pre-departure coffee if they wanted it.

Flight attendants made announcements alerting everyone to what was going on, the Captain announced we’d be getting a water cannon salute on taxi out, I shared my picture of the airplane with a fellow passenger. All in all, the mood was festive on this Tuesday morning business shuttle. We managed to leave on time and taxi out to this.

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The vets received another water cannon salute awaited us upon landing in DC. I entered the gate area to school children waiving flags, a choir singing, and more celebrating. It was a great day to fly! Thank you veterans!

-MJ, October 1, 2015