SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — A special ceremony was held at the Onondaga County War Memorial on Sunday, Nov. 19, for the families of 62 deceased veterans from Syracuse, who received back the pictures of their loved ones, taken with Honor Flight Syracuse in September to the war memorials in Washington D.C.
With the ringing of a bell, the return of a photo, and a salute, 62 families were honored for
their loved one’s service.
For Larry Beyer, today’s ceremony was extra special.
“It’s my birthday. No place I’d rather be,” Beyer said.
Larry’s father was an army veteran of World War II and the recipient of the Purple
Larry’s whole family traveled to Syracuse for this, ranging from his 98-year-old aunt to
“My father was a hero so he’s…why we’re here,” Beyer explained.
Families gathered here today to commemorate the men that some of them didn’t meet
but whose memory will be passed down from generation to generation.
Nancy Hutchings’ father was also a World War II veteran who earned a Silver Star.
“That’s where eternal life comes in is passing it down. This would have meant the world
to him. It’s great that they do this for people,” Hutchings said.
A former teacher, Hutchings understands just how significant it is to remember.
“Well, it’s just important that we understand that we are part of that history and we need
to do what we can to keep this history going in the right direction.”
Franklin Thames, Nancy’s father, passed away while he was in his 50s, so Nancy and her family feel it’s wonderful to be able to remember him years after he has gone.
“Oh, he would have loved this. He was so proud of his service. He talked to us about it
in high school, and, of course, we were like ‘eh.’ We didn’t want to listen, but we are very
proud today, and he would have been proud to have the whole family showing up,” Hutchings said.
Some members of these families didn’t meet the veteran they were honoring, but
everyone wanted to take part in remembering them.
To honor a deceased veteran you can apply by clicking HERE, and then mail or email in their photo to be taken on the journey to Washington D.C.