WASHINGTON - Representative Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) praised last week’s vote to make it easier for Hudson Valley veterans to travel to Washington, D.C. and visit memorials.
"Our World War II veterans stood in defense of our nation and their sacrifice has made our country and the world a safer place. With programs like the Hudson Valley Honor Flight, thousands of our heroes are able to see for the first time the memorials that stand as tribute to their sacrifice, and we can help streamline the process to ensure our veterans can easily visit memorials built in their honor," said Rep. Maloney, son of a Navy veteran.
"As a retired US Army Lieutenant Colonel, and a Hudson Valley Honor Flight participant, this legislation is very important to me. I know first-hand the pride and emotion you feel when you are about to board your flight. The Honor Flight Act will allow our veterans to begin their journey in an efficient, dignified manner and make their experience all the more memorable," said Senator Bill Larkin.
"In September of 2013 I had the privilege of chartering two coach buses with dozens of World War II Veterans and their family members to visit the World War II Memorial in Washington, DC. The day proved to be extremely emotional, filled with tears of sadness and joy. There are no words to express how moved the veterans and their families were by the tremendous support they received from our community to see this memorial. I proudly commend Congressman Maloney and the House of Representatives for their efforts to help streamline the process of enabling ‘the Greatest Generation’ to visit the World War II Memorial. According to the Veterans’ Administration, our World War II veterans are dying at a rate of 600 per day. These brave men and women gave so much to fight for our nation’s safety and freedom, and we should do everything in our power to enable them see the national memorial that was created in honor of their service," said Senator Greg Ball, Chairman of the Senate Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs Committee.
"Hudson Valley Honor Flight provides the opportunity of a life time for our veterans who bravely served our country during World War II and the Honor Flight Act ensures that our heroes get to Washington as easily and as safely as possible," said Becky Boone, Executive Director of Hudson Valley Honor Flight.
The House approved by a voice vote the Honor Flight Act, which makes permanent a Transportation Security Administration practice of expediting the screening process for Honor Flight veterans flying to Washington, D.C.. Honor Flight signs up World War II veterans and sends them to Washington for a three-day visit to the National World War II Memorial and other monuments and memorials built in their honor. The Hudson Valley Honor Flight is part of the National Honor Flight Network, which serves World War II veterans in the Hudson Valley. Since 2005, 98,500 veterans have had the opportunity to visit the National World War II Memorial in Washington D.C. including 400 WWII Veterans from the Hudson Valley.
Maloney has joined New York State Senator Bill Larkin and many local leaders in participating in two Hudson Valley Honor Flight send-off ceremonies at Stewart Airport. In addition to a flight scheduled on September 27th from Stewart, Hudson Valley Honor Flight will be expanding to Westchester, and the first flight out of Westchester County Airport in White Plains will take off on October 18, 2014.