CHICAGO (CBS) — A total of 91 World War II veterans from Illinois and surrounding states are scheduled to board a flight at Midway on Wednesday for a chance to see the Washington, D.C., memorial built in their honor.
But whether they’ll be able to actually see it is another story, thanks to the shutdown of the federal government.
Mary Pettinato is co-founder of “Honor Flight Chicago,” which arranges the trips to see the memorial.
She says the veterans are in their 80s and 90s and have waited up to two years for a spot on the plane to go to Washington to see the memorial that now stands in their honor.
She says the flight will leave as scheduled tomorrow, even though they were told if they tried to enter the memorial itself, they risked being arrested.
She says a lot goes into arranging these trips, given the age of the participants and the hundred or so volunteers that go along to help.
She said it was frustrating that their plans will have to change because the memorial is shut down.
The fountains, music and lights have all been turned off and there is currently a fence around the site.