William J. Ely, a 105-year old Delray Beach resident, said there are three reasons he has lived so long: good luck, good genes, and the love and caring of his wife, Helen, to whom he was married for 70 years before her death in 2014.
Ely, believed to be the oldest living graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, was honored by the Palm Beach County Commission on Tuesday.
Commissioner Steve Abrams, whose district includes Delray Beach, presented Ely with a proclamation honoring his 33 years of service in the Army, including service in the Pacific during World War II.
Ely earned an Army Distinguished Service Medal, a Bronze Star, a Silver Star and two Legions of Merit.
After receiving his proclamation, those attending the commission meeting gave Ely a sustained standing ovation.
Andy Mayer said Monday the trio is set to be on the rescheduled flight.
One change Nov. 19: the flight will land at 7:20pm instead of the usual 8:20 p.m. As always, the public is encouraged to come out in force to the airport to give the veterans a heroes’ welcome.
Since 2009, the nonprofit Stuart-based Southeast Florida Honor Flight, one of 133 such operations nationwide, has taken more than 2,100 veterans, free of charge, from Palm Beach International Airport to Washington and back.
Honor Flight operates solely on corporate and individual donations. Its four flights a year comprise a daylong trip to see the World War II Memorial, the Iwo Jima Memorial and Arlington National Cemetery.
The Levitetz Family Foundation has come to the aid of Southeast Florida Honor Flight again by issuing a match challenge to raise money to fly World War II and Korean War veterans to Washington, DC. The foundation has said it will match the first $37,500, guaranteeing $75,000 for the scheduled Sept. 10 flight.
Since 2009, Stuart-basedSoutheast Florida Honor Flight has taken more than 1,600 veterans at no cost.
Last fall, the foundation donated $45,000 for the October 2015 flight, which that was in jeopardy after a longtime donor had to pull out. This year, Levitetz has said it will make its donation both an annual one and as a matching challenge.
The next Honor Flight for World War II and Korean War veterans is set for Saturday, May 14. People are asked to come that night to greet veterans when they return.
This event, and the first flight of 2016, this past Saturday, both quickly filled. But this flight consists mostly of Korean War veterans, a first for the Honor Flights, but a grim reality, as the ranks of World War II veterans continue to dwindle.
Since 2009, Stuart-basedSoutheast Florida Honor Flight has taken more than 1,600 veterans at no cost from Palm Beach International Airport to Washington, D.C., and back, for a daylong trip to see the World War II Memorial, the Iwo Jima Memorial, and Arlington National Cemetery.
As always, local residents are urged to come out to Palm Beach International Airport in the evening to welcome the flight home at around 8:20 p.m.. In the past, hundreds have filled the concourse with U.S. flags, balloons, and hand-drawn signs. People are asked to go to Terminal Level 2, Concourse A/B and arrive early to set up. Park in short-term parking.