Never Forgotten: Veterans and their contributions to aviation and the country
By Lucas Jagodzinski
PORTAGE COUNTY – November, it’s a time when many of us are planning trips to see loved ones around the country and for some of us, relatives around the world. Air travel has become, in many ways, as common as a road trip in today’s modern economy. November is an especially good month to appreciate the magic of aviation given that November is National Aviation History Month. Aside from aviation history being very cool and interesting, a good reason to honor the month-long holiday coincides with Veteran’s day. Without veterans and the air travel innovations made during many of the wars that America has fought in, air travel as we know it and our country in general would not be what we know it as today.
War in general, has yielded a great deal of innovations in the aviation industry. World War 1 occurred just years after the Wright Brothers flew the first plane at Kitty Hawk. World War 1 encouraged inventors and innovators to build safer, more stable planes that could withstand heavy amounts of damage and lengthy flight times. World War 2 saw the first use of jet fueled planes and the first use of planes as a means of high-speed travel. These innovations and the many more that occurred on the battlefield represent some of the many things that we have our veterans past and present to be thankful for. Veterans Day is just one day in the month of November, but National Aviation month should also be a reminder of our veterans’ contributions to the country and world we live in today.
One special way we use aviation to remember and honor veterans and their contributions to our country is the Never Forgotten Honor Flights. This Wausau based organization began operations in 2009 with the sole purpose of honoring Veterans and their contributions to our country through a special flight to our nation’s capital. These flights, which transport veterans via plane to Washington D.C., allow veterans to view monuments and memorials honoring their contributions to our country. At present, the organization has hubs for Honor Flights in 125 cities and 45 states. At the moment, Never Forgotten Honor Flights have been paused due to the pandemic, but new flights are set to resume in 2022. For more information about the Never Forgotten Honor Flights, go to https://neverforgottenhonorflight.com/. Veterans Day and
Aviation History Month and the Honor Flights all represent ways to remember and honor veterans for their hard work, but it’s important to remember that this can be done any time of year and any day.