Dozens of veterans and volunteers from southern Illinois visited to Washington as a part of the region's second Honor Flight.
Lowell Patterson of Harrisburg was on the flight. He says he's grateful for the trip - and for his fellow veterans.
"Most of the guys did a very important job. I think what they did, the country is benefitting from today. It's too bad that more of the people don't actually realize what they did give up."
The Navy veteran says he's proud of his service, and glad to see others acknowledging it.
"The fact that the country is starting to recognize the veterans for what they did - I think that's the important thing. And I think this reinforces that."
Patterson says he's thankful to have spent time with fellow veterans on the trip - which included visits to war memorials and other sites in the nation's capital.
You can find more information on that by following Veterans Honor Flight of Southern Illinois on Facebook.