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WNY veterans honored with trip to Washington

With the help of guardians and event organizers, the Veterans were able to see nine different memorials across Washington DC.

WASHINGTON D.C., DC — A total of 50 veterans from Western New York went to Washington, DC on October 22, representing World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam war. There was even representation of Veterans who fought in World War I.

Many veterans have been waiting for this moment for years. After the flights were put on hold during the height of the pandemic, they are finally back.

This Buffalo Niagara Honor Flight was been in the works since May and it's the second one this year. These trips carry a very special meeting for the veterans who participate in them.

Veterans like 93-year-old Richie DiSarno. He is one of the seven World War II vets who were honored this weekend.

He brought a picture of his father, Ralf, who was a veteran of World War I. By bringing the photo along, DiSarno represented two different generations of heroes.

"It was an honor for him, not me. for him. All I am here is his picture, everyone knows about World War I, but they don't know his story and all these good guys. I went in to bring the boys home," DiSarno said.

"I'm just really happy for my dad who I think changed his birth certificate so he could go into the war at 17. He ended up in the end of the war at the Pacific Arena. He didn't seek combat, so he doesn't think he deserves to come here, but he does," Richie's daughter, Linda Hortz said.

Richie spent two years overseas as a Marine fighting in the war.

With the help of guardians and event organizers, the veterans were able to see nine different memorials across Washington, DC.

For many of the veterans, it was their very first time seeing the monuments that were dedicated to them. One of the first stops was at the World War II memorial. There were seven veterans on the flight that fought at that war.

One of those was 97-year-old Joe Cosenza. He was just 18 years old when he joined the army. 

"It means a lot because some of these people are friends here or whatever they are. And when the Japanese planes came got the bomb in the headquarters. We were half a mile away from them and we lost a lot of friends, the whole platoon was killed. You just can't forget that forever," Cosenza said.

Another thing Cosenza said he will never forget is this day. His message to the world: No more wars.

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