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WWII veteran visits memorial

Staff writer

Former Peabody resident Ernie Seibel was one of about 100 Kansas veterans who made a trip Oct. 6 to Washington, D.C., to visit the National World War II Memorial.

Central Prairie Honor Flight, an area organization dedicated to providing free flights to the nation’s capital for the men and women who served their country, made the trip possible for the Kansas veterans.

Seibel, who served in World War II and the Korean War, was accompanied by Keith Harsh, who served in the guardian capacity required by the program for Honor Flight attendees.

Early on a clear autumn morning, Seibel and Harsh left Mid-Continent Airport in Wichita. Arriving in Washington about 10 a.m., they embarked on a whirlwind of tours and activities.

At the National World War II Memorial they were greeted at the Kansas monument by former Sen. Bob Dole and his wife, Elizabeth, and Sen. Jerry Moran.

Other stops on their tour included the WWII Field of Stars where all those who served in the war are named, Arlington National Cemetery, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the Smithsonian Institute, and Fort McHenry.

“The place Ernie enjoyed most was National Marine Museum at Quantico,” Harsh said. “Boy, he was real taken with all their displays and exhibits.”

After a day steeped in memories and appreciation from a grateful country, the two Peabody men boarded the flight back to Kansas.

“It was a long day, but a memorable one for Ernie,” Harsh said.

Honor Flights provides airfare, meals, lodging, entrance fees, and a special T-shirt, cap, and memory book. Nationally, Honor Flights have flown more than 11,000 veterans to Washington, D. C. to view the memorials.

For more information, contact Central Prairie Honor Flights at (620) 792-6224 or visit the website at http://www.centralprairiehonorflight.org.

Last modified Nov. 10, 2011

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