Just a small, “Thank You.”

Editor’s Note: Click here to view a multimedia video from the Honor Flight event.

On the morning of Nov. 9, 2011, Cleveland-area Coast Guardsmen paid their respect to World War II veterans taking a trip to the war memorial in Washington, D.C., courtesy of Honor Flight Cleveland.

The mission of the Honor Flight Network is to serve those that have served us by providing them with an expense-free trip.

In this screen-capture from a video produced by the 9th Coast Guard District External Affairs Office, Capt. John Bingaman, 9th Coast Guard District chief of staff, thanks Elizabeth Racic for her service as a Coast Guard SPAR during World War II before an Honor Flight trip to Washington, D.C., at Cleveland-Hopkins Intl. Airport, Nov. 9, 2011. Click on the image to view the video.

One of those veterans taking the trip was 92-year-old Elizabeth Racic, a Cleveland native that spent 2 ½ years during World War II serving as a Coast Guard SPAR, the women’s reserve that acted as a force multiplier for the active duty Coast Guardsmen serving overseas.

Racic went through her initial training in Palm Beach, Fla., and spent her time in the SPARs in the payroll office in New York.

“I was thinking that, back then, everything was done by hand,” she said. “Today, everything is done by computers.”

More than 20 veterans and their escorts boarded the plane at Cleveland-Hopkins Intl. Airport.

“I will tell you that it is an inspiration for us to see you here,” said Rear Adm. Michael Parks, commander of the 9th Coast Guard District.  “We’re here to recognize our veterans and say thank you for the incredible sacrifices that all of you put forth so that we can enjoy the freedoms that we do today.”


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