MIAMI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, FLA. (WSVN) - Some of America’s heroes were welcomed home to South Florida after a powerful trip that took them to the nation’s capital.

“This is absolutely fantastic,” one veteran said.

Dozens of veterans touched down at Miami International Airport on Sunday night after an emotional trip to Washington, D.C. and a chance to visit military sites and war memorials built in their honor.

“I appreciate Honor Flight South Florida, all the flight attendants, the pilots and the CEO, everybody who made this trip, this journey a success,” one veteran said. “It was just something that you’ll never forget, going to Washington, D.C.”

For many, this was their first trip to the nation’s capital.

The veterans served in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.

“I used to protest that I was going to live to be 100, but I wanted our march in Washington to acknowledge us,” one veteran said, “but what this honor flight did, and what BSO started out doing, what they kind of ended up doing, I’ve had my parade. I believe I’ll go to my grave in peace now.”

Their trip came one day after the 20th anniversary of the tragic 9/11 terror attacks.

“The first time I had been welcomed home in 50 years,” one veteran said as he held back tears. “Took that long, but they really welcomed us home. It makes a big difference.”

“We’re rolling out the red carpet to welcome these heroes home,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. “The family members are here, we’ve got an honor guard, we have a fife and drum, we have the elected officials and the airport leadership. It’s military affairs officers, it’s a great, great turnout to say thank you.”

Honor Flight South Florida is dedicated to recognizing all veterans in Miami-Dade, Monroe and Broward counties and ensuring their service to our country does not go unnoticed.

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