Honor Flight Creates Local World War II Memorial
KREX News Room
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.- Many World War ll veterans were honored Sunday with a new memorial in Grand Junction.
Cal Coley joined the military before graduating high school. "At 17, you had to have your guardian's consent. My mother signed for me," he said.
He fought for freedom for more than five years, and now at age 85, as one of the youngest World War II veterans, Coley is looking back on his military career. He says it's the best decision he's ever made.
One local group left a lasting impression on Coley. "It was the best time of my life, I do believe," he said.
The Western Slope Honor Flight is a group that flies World War II veterans to Washington, D.C., free of charge, to see memorials built in their honor. "The flight in itself meant so much to them. It was a very generous, tearful, memorable time for our World War II veterans," said Kris Bough, president of the Western Slope Honor Flight.
The organization's fifth and final flight was in September 2011. "We feel that we took all the World War II veterans that were physically able, and who really wanted to go," she said.
Honor Flight spent this past year creating one final mission.
After months of work, the World War II memorial in Grand Junction at the Veterans Memorial Cemetery allowed many veterans to reconnect with one another. "I'm really proud of it. The people who sponsored it and got it going really worked hard, and and it looks like they've done a wonderful job on it," said Coley.
It's a place where veterans from across Colorado can now honor their fallen comrades without flying across the country. "Just a little piece that we are leaving behind to let them know we are still honoring, respecting and remembering their service to our country. They are our greatest generation," said Bough.