Honor flight of WWII veterans greeted with cheers, tears at Lindbergh Field

88 World War II veterans part of flight

SAN DIEGO - Throughout San Diego, people paid tribute Sunday to our military veterans, past and present ahead of Memorial Day.

 At Lindbergh Field, it was the greatest of welcomes for the Greatest Generation. One by one, 88 World War II veterans from Southern California were greeted with cheers and applause after stepping off a plane.

"Oh my God! It's just an incredible thing," said WWII veteran Manny Barrios, "I was not expecting it."

 The veterans were part of an honor flight, after their first ever visit to the World War II Memorial in Washington, DC.

 "It was overwhelming. I got emotional. The message it sent to me [was] everybody really appreciated what we did," said Charles Dyer, WWII veteran.

 Among the supporters was Carrie Ash.

"We love them, and we're proud of them and super grateful," said Ash, choking back tears.

 There were more tributes at Miramar National Cemetery, where a more solemn atmosphere played out.

 "It’s a day to reflect on those who gave the ultimate sacrifice and it's the reason we have our freedom today," said Christi Espinoza.

 Vietnam veteran Herbert Thompson was at the event, and said he lost many friends in the war.

 "They’ll always be in you and we're there for them. Today and I can feel them, even if they are not here. I can still feel their presence," said Thompson.

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