Vets defy shutdown and visit WWII memorial

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Ben Arkes is 91-years-old and was an aerial photographer in World War II.

Wednesday, he and 90 others went with Honor Flight Chicago to see the World War II Veterans Memorial

It was Ben’s first time; and to think with the government shutdown, they almost didn’t get to see the memorial.

They were told the night before the trip that it would be closed and they could get arrested if they tried to get in.

Mary Pettinato, the CEO of Honor Flight Chicago, asked the vets if wanted to stay home- they said, no way!

When they landed at Midway Airport late Wednesday night, they were greeted with bag pipes and the cheers of hundreds of people who lined up to shake their hands and thank them for their service.

Honor Flight Chicago has taken 52 flights and more than 4500 heroes to the World War II Memorial.

There are still 20,000 veterans of this war, from the Chicago area, who have not taken that flight. The flight is free!

All you have to do is sign up – to do that, go to: and fill out an application.

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