Great River Honor Flight mission No. 63 on April 6 will kick off six flights during 2023

honor flight handshake

| Photo courtesy of Great River Honor Flight

HANNIBAL, Mo. — The first mission of 2023 by the Great River Honor Flight to Washington, D.C., will be on April 6. It is the first of six trips planned for this year. It will be the first time the homecoming will take place at Hannibal High School’s Korf Gymnasium.

This will be the 63rd mission for local veterans since the program started in 2010, serving 2,009 local veterans who served in WWII, Korea, Vietnam and between those conflicts.

Approximately 29 veterans from Illinois (Adams, Pike, Hancock, McDonough and St. Clair), Missouri (Marion, Pike, Clark, Lewis, Pike, Monroe and Ralls), plus Iowa (Lee) will be part of this mission. The group has 26 Vietnam veterans, one Korea veteran and two Armed Forces veterans who served between those conflicts. They will be accompanied by 27 guardians whose sole responsibility is making sure the veterans’ needs are addressed during the trip. The group will depart from Hannibal High School.

The trip start with a 3:30 a.m. departure for a bus ride to Lambert Field in St. Louis, where they will board their flight to Baltimore and then on to Washington, D.C. The first stop will be at the Vietnam Wall Memorial. This stop will include visits to the nearby Korea and Lincoln memorials.

Next on the itinerary is a stop at the World War II Memorial, which sits next to the Washington Monument and where a group picture is taken. Next will be a tour of D.C. as well as a stop at the Iwo Jima Memorial and then a visit to Arlington National Cemetery, including seeing the ceremonial changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

The trip will conclude with dinner at the Air Force Memorial overlooking the Pentagon. The veterans will head to Reagan International Airport for their return flight back to St. Louis. A charter bus will bring them back to Hannibal High School’s Korf Gymnasium for a homecoming. The expected arrival time back in Hannibal will be around 10:15 p.m.

Great River Honor Flight was started on Veterans Day 2009 with its first flight scheduled on April 13, 2010.

Great River Honor Flight, a Missouri nonprofit corporation established in October of 2009, was created solely to honor America’s veterans who live in our area for all they have sacrificed by providing, free of charge, transportation to Washington, D.C. to visit the memorials dedicated to honor their service and sacrifices.

For additional information, contact Carlos Fernandez at or Great River Honor Flight, P.O. Box 3723, Quincy, IL 62305.

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