WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) today greeted veterans from across the Midwest, including 45 South Dakotans, who were in Washington, D.C., to visit war memorials honoring their service and sacrifice to the nation. The Midwest Honor Flight program coordinated today’s visit to Washington.
“It’s an opportunity for us to be able to say ‘thank you’ to all of these veterans from so many generations for their service and sacrifice on behalf of our country,” said Thune. “They answered the call to duty at that critical moment in history when it was important that people be willing to defend our freedoms, so when these groups come out here – the chance to be able to come down here and express on behalf of a grateful nation our gratitude to them is a really neat opportunity and an honor.
“It’s really special. I have a lot of family connections to service and our country – and my dad, of course, he’s 98 years old, a World War II veteran and still going strong. I remember when we had the chance to bring him out here a few years ago and let him see the World War II Memorial that honors those who served from his generation and sacrificed from that great conflict. So any time we have the chance to recognize our veterans, to say ‘thank you’ to our veterans, we as a society, I believe, owe them a great debt of gratitude, and it’s important for us to do that.”