Bill Brollier, a local World War II Veteran, has returned from a three day trip to Washington, DC where he, along with approximately 75 other WWII veterans visited the WWII Memorial, and many other sites at our Nation’s Capitol. Bill was accompanied on this trip by his daughter, Diana Bartlett.
On Day 1, the group visited the WWII Memorial where Bill was selected as part of a group of five or six Veterans to place a Ceremonial wreath at the base of the Atlantic Theater of the Memorial. A second wreath laying ceremony was also held to place a memorial wreath for those who served in the Pacific Theater. The group participated in ceremonial wreath presentations at the Korean War Memorial as well. After the busy day, the group dined at Sequoia’s Restaurant to watch the sunset on the Potomac River and admire the majestic view of the Kennedy Center and Watergate Hotel. The United States Air Force Memorial was the last stop of the day for the group in Arlington, Virginia. The Air Force Memorial features three stainless steel spires that soar skyward, the tallest reaching a height of 270 feet. From this site the Veteran’s could overlook the Pentagon and Arlington National Cemetery, but on this night the group marveled at the view of the Capitol and the moon on the night skyline. Here, those Veteran’s who served in the Air Force or Air Corps saluted the fallen soldiers and spent time reflecting on their own experiences.
On Day 2 the group visited the Iwo Jima Memorial, the Arlington National Cemetery, and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier where they observed the Changing of the Guards, and participated a solemn laying of the wreath ceremony. Following this activity, Bill and four other Veteran Pilots paid a visit to the Capital to meet with Congressman Ralph Hall, who was also a WWII Veteran aircraft pilot and is the dean of the Texas congressional delegation, as well as the oldest serving member of the House of Representatives and second oldest member of either House of Congress. After a visit with Congressman Hall and a brief tour of the Capitol, the Veteran’s rejoined their group for a tour of the Pentagon. This tour included a tour of the 9/11/2001 Memorial, including the site where the plane actually hit the Pentagon. Day 2 ended with a spectacular dinner at Clyde’s of Georgetown.
Day 3 began bright and early with a breakfast address from Mary Eisenhower, the granddaughter of WII General and former President, Dwight D Eisenhower. The Veterans were able to share emotional stories with her about their own memories of her grandfather. The moving memories continued as the group toured the Vietnam War Memorial and placed flags in memory of 155 specific fallen Vietnam soldiers of the Texas Panhandle. The group gathered for a picture in front of the magnificent Lincoln Memorial while gazing upon the early morning view of the world’s tallest stone structure, the prominent Washington Memorial, the Capital and the Lincoln Memorial reflective pool. After a brief stop to the United States Navy Memorial, the group travelled to Walter Reed Medical Center to visit with wounded soldiers from the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.
Bill served in the 8th Air Force of the European Theater based in England, his 32 missions included targets in France and Germany as a B24 pilot. His trip was made possible through the efforts of America Supports You Texas Panhandle Honor Flight 2009.