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Recognizing Members Of Honor Flight South Alabama

Rep. Jo Bonner

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Mr. Speaker, it is with great pride that I rise to commend Honor Flight South Alabama and the 89 World War II veterans this very special organization is bringing to Washington, D.C., on May

Founded by the South Alabama Veterans Council, Honor Flight South Alabama is an organization whose mission is to fly heroes from Mobile, Baldwin, Washington, Clarke, Monroe, Covington, and Escambia counties in Alabama to see their national memorial.

Over six decades have passed since the end of World War II and, regrettably, it took nearly this long to complete work on the memorial that honors the spirit and sacrifice of the 16 million who served in the U.S. armed forces and the more than 400,000 who paid the ultimate sacrifice. Sadly, many veterans did not live long enough to hear their country say ``thank you'' yet, for those veterans still living, Honor Flight provides for many their first--and perhaps only--opportunity to see the National World War II Memorial, which honors their service and sacrifice.

This Honor Flight begins at dawn when the veterans will gather at historic Fort Whiting in Mobile and travel to Mobile Regional Airport to board a US Airways flight to Washington. During their time in their nation's capital, the veterans will visit the World War II Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery, and other memorials.

The veterans will return to Mobile Regional Airport Wednesday evening, where a very large crowd of family and friends are expected to greet them.

Mr. Speaker, Wednesday's journey of 89 heroes from South Alabama is an appropriate time for us to pause and thank them--and all of our military who fought in World War II--for they collectively and literally saved the world. They personify the very best America has to offer, and I urge my colleagues to take a moment to pay tribute to their selfless devotion to our country and the freedom we enjoy.

I salute each of the 89 veterans who made the trip on May 4, 2011. May we never forget their valiant deeds and tremendous sacrifices: Clavis Akridge, Mary Balch, Herbert Barnhart, Harry Bennitt, Nathan Beverly, Blake Blakeney, Jim Botts, Sr., Robert Bryant, Howard Carney, Sr., Harold Childers, Charles Christie, Dale Crittenden, Arthur Days, Jr., Donald Delmarter, Gerald Devuyst, William, Duffy, Sr., John Elliott, Hardy Eubanks, Osburn Flener, Delbert Ganson, Albert Garrett, James Glisson, George Grant, Bobbie Gwin, James Hathcock, Jr., Allen Honeycutt, Andrew Jackson, Jordan Jackson, Ralph Jackson, Weyman Jobe, Ben Johnson, Henry Jones, Emory Jones, Mathew Kautzer, Robert Killam, Kenneth Kollar, Joseph Kress, William Krist, William Lauten, John Loper, Reginald Loper, Charles Loury, James Maupin, Bruce Maynard, Perry McClure, Bryant McDonald, Jr., Glenn Merrill, Robert Middleton, John Mobley, Tristam Mock, James Mullineaux, Albert Murrell, William Nanney, Jr., James Nettles, John Nettles, Jr., Ronald O'Donnell, John Odom, Morgan Odom, Curtis Outlaw, Sr., John Overbeck, Oliver Palanjian, Orin Parker, Jr., William Patterson, Hurshel Paul, Webster Pedersen, Peter Richardson, Tom Robertson, Albert Roll, Jr., Joe Salzmann, Norman Sannes, Frank Schneider, Louis Spadaro, Lamar Stapleton, Bernie Steele, Rene Stiegler, Jr., Orrin Strickler, Floyd Stringfellow, Irvine Tucker, Waid Turner, Donald VanBeek, James Walker, Sr., Eldred Ward, Jr., Hugh Wiggins, Lewis Wilder, Frederick Witzel, Vernon Woodcock, Robert Yearty, Joseph Zulofsky, and Eldred Latham.