Snap-on Honor Flight
The Snap-on Honor Flight Program is an opportunity for veterans to be truly and genuinely thanked for their service by Snap-on, their country, and their loved ones. It’s a chance to connect with other veterans who have had the same experiences and to remember their friends who didn’t make it home.
On every Honor Flight Tour, veterans are individually recognized and thanked for their service. Each veteran’s name, conflict, and branch is announced at a large group dinner.
Many memorable moments during the Snap-on Honor Flight trip are interactions between the veterans and the police officers, students, volunteers, and tourists who greet them. From the airport, to the hotel, the memorials, and everywhere in between, words of appreciation, handshakes, and even hugs are exchanged. A motorcade escorts veterans along every stop of the tour. People line the walkways of the WWII Memorial to cheer for veterans as they pass. Strangers in an airport terminal stand and clap as the veterans arrive. This outpouring of gratitude from hundreds of strangers, largely unplanned, truly welcomes veterans to D.C. in a grand fashion.
Below is more information about each stop and photos from past Snap-on tours.
Air Force Memorial
One of the stops on each Snap-on Honor Flight is the Air Force Monument. Sixty-nine Air Force veterans attending Snap-on Honor Flights have visited this breathtaking monument, that features three 270 foot spires, a glass Contemplation Wall, and four bronze statues. Each of the spires in the monument represent a core value of the U.S. Air Force; Integrity First, Service Before Self, and Excellence in All that is Done.
Each Snap-on Honor Flight Veteran also has the opportunity to see the Changing of the Guard at Arlington National Cemetery. The cemetery is the final resting place of over 400,000 military members and their families, and is the only cemetery to hold service members from every war since the American Revolution. In June of 2019, two veterans from a Snap-on Honor Flight trip had the honor of presenting the wreath at the Changing of the Guard ceremony, which takes place at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Iwo Jima Memorial
The Marine Corps War Memorial is a memorial statue that features six men raising the American flag over Iwo Jima, one of the most famous incidents of World War II. It’s modeled after the Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph taken by Joe Rosenthal, and is dedicated to all the Marines who have given their lives in defense of the United States. Thirty-two Marine Corps veterans have visited this memorial on Snap-on Honor Flight tours.
Korean War Memorial
The Korean War Veterans Memorial was dedicated on July 27th, 1995- the 42nd anniversary of the armistice that ended the Korean War. Since that time, the memorial has seen approximately three million visitors each year. Among them are the sixty-five Korean War veterans who have attended a Snap-on Honor Flight Tour. The memorial has nineteen statues that represent all military branches, a mural wall engraved with the faces of real Korean War soldiers, and a Pool of Remembrance dedicated to the killed, wounded, missing in action and prisoners of war.
The United States Navy Memorial honors those who served in the U.S. Navy, Coast Guard, Marine Corps and Merchant Marines. The Memorial Plaza contains the “Granite Sea” the world’s largest map, and the Lone Sailor- an iconic statue representation of American sailors. The fountains in the plaza contain water from all seven seas. Snap-on has had the pleasure of taking seventy-nine U.S. Navy Veterans and two Coast Guard veterans to see this beautiful memorial dedicated to them.
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is one of the most powerful memorials Snap-on Honor Flight veterans get to visit. The memorial contains three separate parts, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, The Vietnam Women’s memorial, and the Three Soldiers Statue. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall is one of the more iconic elements of the memorial and has the names of over 58,000 people who gave their lives during the war engraved on its surface. Two hundred and thirty-five Snap-on Vietnam War Veterans have visited this memorial, many of whom have found the names of friends, family, and loved ones on the wall.
The National WWII Memorial is one of the most widely visited memorials in Washington, D.C. with 4.5 million visitors annually. The Snap-on Honor Flight program has sent thirty-five WWII veterans to see this impressive memorial built in their honor. The memorial features granite columns symbolizing the states and territories at the time of the war, a large reflection pool, and 4,048 gold stars. Each star represents 100 American lives lost during the war. Re-enactors can often be found at the memorial dressed in period attire- which is a special treat for the veterans.