County Executive Robert P. Astorino on Saturday met with 69 veteransMay 24, 16 - Westchester County Executive Robert P. Astorino on Saturday met with 69 veterans prior to the departure of the 16th Hudson Valley Honor Flight; the sixth mission to originate from Westchester County Airport. The veterans were embarking on a day trip to see the monuments to their respective wars in Washington, D.C.

Aboard the Honor Flight were 42 World War II Veterans and 27 Korean War Veterans. Among the veterans was a member of the legendary Flying Tigers, as well as a man who witnessed the raising of the U.S. Flag on Iwo Jima from the base of Mount Suribachi. One of the Korean War Veterans was a Holocaust survivor who fled the Nazis at 19 years of age, and was drafted into service after settling in the U.S.A. There were also veterans of multiple wars --including a man who served in both Korea and Viet Nam-- in attendance.

The veterans arrived at the departure ceremony with a police escort, where they were greeted by Astorino and a crowd of hundreds.

“It is an honor to live in the greatest nation on earth, which you served with such valor so many years ago,” said Astorino to the Veterans. “As far as we’re concerned, you and your buddies are the heroes who literally saved the world."

The flight, an Airbus A- 320, departed at approximately 8 a.m.