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Maumee, Springfield youth meet vets in D.C.

Students on trip welcome Honor Flight

WASHINGTON — It was a new generation and the Greatest Generation.

Students from Maumee and Springfield high schools were on hand to welcome World War II veterans to Washington on Wednesday afternoon.

The veterans had flown in that morning with Honor Flight, which facilitates trips to the WWII memorial for those who served.

The students, in the district for the annual Jefferson Awards ceremony, served the veterans lunch in tents across from the memorial and chatted with them about their lives.

“The veterans really appreciated seeing the impact they had on the kids,” said Kristina White, director of community impact for Leadership Toledo, who traveled to Washington with the students.

Many of the students agreed with Ms. White’s assessment.

Springfield student Mackenzie Cupp, 16, said that the opportunity to meet the veterans and learn more about their life experiences was “amazing.”

The visit made her realize that the men and women who serve our country are “still themselves” when they return home, she said.

Maumee student Ashlee Balcerzak, 17, also enjoyed her conversations with the veterans.

She said that because Maumee students had raised $8,000 for the Honor Flight organization in the past, the chance to meet with the veterans was especially inspiring to her.

This is the second-to-last trip for Honor Flight of Northwest Ohio, the area chapter of a national group.

But veterans who were unable to travel with the regional organization may still be able to visit the memorial through trips with certain Michigan chapters.

The final flight organized by the local group is to take off on Sept. 24.

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