Florida Panthers honor veterans with virtual flight to Washington

SUNRISE, FLA. (WSVN) - In honor of Veterans day, the Florida Panthers honored our nation’s finest with a unique experience.

It was a show of appreciation on the ice at the BB&T Center in Sunrise. The stands were packed with proud veterans who fought in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.

The brave bunch was honored for Veterans Day with a virtual flight to Washington D.C.

“These gentlemen and women couldn’t make the flight, so they are experiencing what would’ve happened [Saturday] morning, I guess, if they were on the flight,” said Florida Panthers CEO and President Matthew Caldwell.

The Florida Panthers Foundation partnered with Honor Flight South Florida to create a memorable experience for the deserving heroes. The organization flies vets to see the memorials built in their honor, but since many can no longer travel, the action was brought to them.

“Great organization and this hub here in South Florida — Miami, South Florida — is just full of dedicated people that just do everything they can to make a veteran feel worthwhile,” said veteran Harvey Tarshis.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott also made an appearance via a pre-recorded video to show his respects.

“It’s an honor to be honored,” said veteran Al Trapanese. “It’s been so many years — 70 years when all this was all going on: Okinawa, the Philippine Liberation and all that stuff, but you can’t forget that stuff.”

The day was a salute to the men and women who selflessly served our country.

“Appreciation for my service, that’s what it means to me,” said veteran Jules Kesselman.

The event also served as a military appreciation day for all former and active duty military personnel and their families who live in South Florida.

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