Some local World War II and Korean War veterans from Cayuga County are getting a unique opportunity this weekend. About 70 veterans are getting an all expenses paid for trip to Washington, D.C. to experience historic sites including the World War II and Korean War memorials. It's called Operation Enduring Gratitude. Our Brad Vivacqua reports.
AUBURN, N.Y. -- Members of the Knights of Columbus Council 207 came up with this idea back in January, and its goal was to raise $25,000 to allow about 50 veterans to go on this trip.
The response for the trip was great, and the council was able to exceed its monetary goal as now more than 60 veterans will be making this three day trip. Many of the veterans are in their seventies and eighties and have never had the chance to experience something like this.
Organizers in Auburn say it was important to leave "no man behind" if a county based veteran of one of the two wars expressed interest in this trip. Two buses will depart from the Armory this morning first with a stop at Auburn City Hall before the group heads for Washington.
The group will tour the area around the White House and then end up at the historic monuments on Saturday. On Sunday, the group will visit Arlington National Cemetery and then attend a Changing of the Guards ceremony.
"This committee is saying not only do we thank you, but we want to take you down and touch and feel the monuments that were erected for you and have you see them at this point in your life. And, I think it was unexpected and really well received," said Jim Orman, Cayuga County Treasurer.
Before the group leaves the city, they'll get an official send off by Auburn Mayor Michael Quill at City Hall.