Home > News, Photography > Warm Welcome for WW II Veterans—50 years later

Warm Welcome for WW II Veterans—50 years later

Irv Knight and guardian Susan Bellefleur

Nov. 7, 2009-Susan Bellefleur wheels Irv Knight off the plane and into a crowd of fans, music and supporters greeting World War II veterans at Reagan airport in Washington, D.C.

Something about 85 year-old veterans in tears just gets me.  It could have been the look in their eyes when they saw the crowd awaiting them at the airport, or the way they joked around with each other wearing worn uniforms, but I was literally shooting through tears! It was an emotional day for all, as the veterans received the warm welcome they never got, and visited their memorial, D.C.’s newest addition to the national mall, for the first time.

Here are some photos from the day…

Vets Arriving at Reagan

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The crowd waits outside gate 38 at Washington's Reagan airport

Plane arrives

The plane arrives carrying over 100 WWII veterans

The Band

The Band

Irv Knight
Nov. 7, 2009-World War II veterans from eastern Connecticut arrive at Washington’s Reagan airport, where they are greeted by fans, music and taken by bus to the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. Irv Knight’s guardian Susan Bellefleur wheels him off the plane into the crowd waiting outside gate 38.

Veterans arrive

WW II veteran Bill DeMaio arrives in Washington, D.C.

Bob Campbell

Bob Campbell arrives in Washington, D.C.

Bob Campbell

Bob Campbell arrives in Washington, D.C.

Ed Weil

Ed Weil arrives in Washington, D.C.

Veteran arrives

Veteran arrives in Washington, D.C.

Veterans arrive

Veterans arrive

Betty Jobtanski

Betty Jobtanski arrives in Washington, D.C.

Dorothy Reed

A greeter fixes a rose pin on veteran Dorothy Reed's sweater before she entered the welcome crowd.

Dorothy Reed

WW II veteran Dorothy Reed is greeted by the crowd outside gate 38

Dorothy Reed

Dorothy Reed greeted by fans

 

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Nov. 7, 2009-World War II veterans arrive at Washington's Reagan airport, where they are greeted by fans, music and taken by bus to the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. Here a young girl greets vet Reggie Pinto with a kiss on the cheek.

 

 

Reggie Pinto

Nov. 7, 2009-World War II veterans arrive at Washington's Reagan airport, where they are greeted by fans, music and taken by bus to the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. Here a young girl greets Reggie Pinto with a kiss on the cheek.


Veterans on the bus

WW II veterans board the bus and head to the WW II memorial in Washington, D.C.

Eddie

Nov. 7, 2009-World War II veteran Edward Insalaco, of Willamantic, Conn., rides in the back of the bus to the World War II memorial in Washington, D.C. During WW II, Insalaco was captured in Italy, escaped a P.O.W. camp, lived in caves and went without food for a month before giving himself up to the allies. A few years ago he returned to Italy and thanked the villagers who saved him with a plaque.

Eddie

Eddie laughs on the bus

WW II

WW II memorial, Washington, D.C.

WW II Memorial

WW II Memorial, Washington, D.C.

WW II Memorial, Washington, D.C.

WW II Memorial, Washington, D.C.

WW II Memorial, Washington, D.C.

WW II Memorial, Washington, D.C.

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Nov. 7, 2009-World War II veteran Edward Insalaco, of Willamantic, Conn., rides in the back of the bus to the World War II memorial in Washington, D.C. Insalaco was captured in Italy, escaped a P.O.W. camp, and went without food for a month and lived in caves before giving himself up to the allies. A few years ago he returned to Italy and thanked the villagers who saved him with a plaque.

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WW II veteran chats with children at the WW II memorial in Washington, D.C.

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