WATCH: Sen. Kelly Welcomes Arizona Honor Flight Veterans to Washington, D.C. 

In case you missed it, yesterday, Arizona Senator and 25-year Navy combat veteran Mark Kelly welcomed veterans, including many from Arizona, to Washington, D.C. as part of the Honor Flight Network’s “250K Commemoration Event” celebrating the program’s 250,000th veteran visit at the World War II Memorial on the National Mall. 

The Honor Flight Network brings United States military veterans to see the memorials of the respective war they fought in at no cost to them. The May 3 flight originated from Phoenix, Arizona, and brought approximately 165 Arizona caregivers and veterans of World War Two, the Vietnam War, and Korean War to D.C.   

Kelly welcomes Honor Flight veterans at the World War II memorial.

Kelly, who was sworn in to complete the remainder of the late Senator John McCain’s term, is the Chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities which oversees policies and programs related to science and technology, special operations, intelligence, counterterrorism, security cooperation, strategic and information operations, countering weapons of mass destruction, and homeland defense.    

In his speech, Kelly thanked the veterans for their service and sacrifice and emphasized the lessons learned from a generation’s valor and service, and the need to apply these lessons especially as the war in Ukraine rages on.  

Read an excerpt from his speech below: 

“We will never forget your service and sacrifice, and those of your fellow servicemembers who didn’t make it home or have since passed. It lives on in these memorials, in the stories you have passed on to your families, and in the hearts and minds of a grateful nation.  

“I know for me, it was the example of the greatest generation that set me on my path. Both of my grandfathers served in World War Two. My dad’s dad served in the Navy in the Pacific, and my mom’s dad served in the Merchant Marine in the Atlantic protecting ships bound for Europe. This instilled in my family a strong commitment to public service.  

“My father went on to serve in the 82nd Airborne, and my brother Scott and I were inspired to become naval aviators and eventually astronauts.   

“But the truth is, we all stand on your shoulders: all of us who live in a peaceful, free country.” 

You can watch the full speech HERE.