When the pandemic started 18 months ago, it grounded the Freedom Honor Flight program for veterans in the Coulee Region.
Saturday, however, on Sept. 11, the veterans will head to Washington, D.C., once again for the 25th flight from the La Crosse branch, which began in 2008.
Having the flight on a solemn and patriotic date such as Sept. 11th was mainly a coincidence, Honor Flight board vice president Kevin Kuchar said.
“That date was a date that was provided to us by the airline that we use, Sun Country, as a possible date,” Kuchar said at a July news conference. “I don’t think that we attached any specific significance to it. It was a date that was available.”
The day trips to DC and back are routinely conducted on Saturdays — once in the spring and once in the fall.
Nearly 2,100 veterans have traveled on the local flights, with World War II vets still accounting for the majority and Korean War veterans catching up.
Saturday’s flight, carrying about 90-100 area veterans, will require masks and proof of vaccination for the passengers.
The next Honor Flight out of La Crosse is scheduled for Oct. 9.