Clay Middle School students salute veterans through Indy Honor Flight


By Sierra Solis

Clay Middle School is stressing the importance of honoring veterans. Students recently were assigned a project challenging them to learn more about their relatives who have lived through major events in America’s history.

“It’s a natural fit with then piggybacking that into supporting Indy Honor Flight, and hopefully finding more veterans to put on future flights in this community, in the Clay family,” said J. Dan Patane, Clay Middle School social studies teacher.

Clay Middle School students listened to a presentation from World War II veterans Harold Harrington and Ned Hugus and Indy Honor Flight vice president Carol Ford on Aug. 26. Carmel High School social studies teacher Will Ellery got CHS involved in the program two years ago, which led to the middle school’s involvement.

Students will work to come up with innovative ways to raise money for veterans to experience an Honor Flight, which flies them to Washington D.C. to visit the World War II Memorial, as well as other significant national monuments such as Arlington Cemetery and the Lincoln Memorial.

“It’s been an unbelievable experience so late in my life. You can see the emotion. It was there all the time,” Hugus said of his Honor Flight. “It’s unbelievable, and it will always be unbelievable.”

Indy Honor Flight is a non-profit organization that assists Hoosier veterans in reaching these national monuments in their later years. Volunteers with Indy Honor Flight help with logistics of the trip, write letters to veterans, welcome them home and more.

“To me, the honor flight was the most gorgeous thing I ever saw,” Harrington said. “It’s just a gorgeous thing to see a veteran smile. It’s the most gorgeous thing I ever did when I was honored to [be]on the Honor Flight. I’ll never forget it.”

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