See photos from Bourbon Street

At Honor Flight Chicago, our mission is clear. We honor our senior war heroes for their service. We thank them for their courage and sacrifice. And in the process, we inspire generations of Americans to understand the power of gratitude and respect.

Many times, it is the inspiration part of what we do that makes me proudest. There is nothing like seeing an 11-year-old walk up to a World War II veteran and say, “Thank you for your service.”

That is why it meant so much to me and all of us involved with Honor Flight Chicago to see such a wide range of ages represented at our annual Bourbon Street Fundraiser last week. We were thrilled to see so many veterans in attendance — many proudly wearing their gray Honor Flight Chicago shirts! But we were just as excited to see children, grandchildren and even great-grandchildren of these veterans there to say “Thank you” and support Honor Flight Chicago.

The event was an enormous success, and that is thanks to all of our dedicated volunteers. I’d like to especially thank WGN anchor Robin Baumgarten for emceeing the event, Wayne and Kathleen Messmer for singing the National Anthem, and Sweet Reminders, Frankfort Brass Band and the Emerald Society for providing music throughout the night.

Take a look back at some of the highlights from the evening, and again, thank you to everyone who came out to support our veterans and Honor Flight Chicago.