By Jill Schensul
STEWART AIRPORT — The raindrops were pelting and the sky had just gone reluctantly from black to gray. It was 6 a.m. and already they were waiting, holding flags and posters. By 6:45 a.m. people packed the drop-off area at New York Stewart International Airport as the roar of Rolling Thunder motorcycles announced the approach of the luminaries they had all come to see.
Four buses pulled up to the curb and the doors folded open.
“There he is!” “Look, there!” exclaimed people in the crowd, pointing to passengers slowly emerging.
“I want to see the barber!”
These were not rock stars — the number of wheelchairs on hand to take more than a few of the 83 passengers into the terminal was a giveaway. But to those in the crowd, they were, well, even more.
They were heroes: 83 war veterans chosen to take Saturday’s Hudson Valley Honor Flight to Washington, D.C., to visit their war memorials at no cost to them.
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