Land of Lincoln Honor Flight announced that all remaining 2021 flights from Springfield have been cancelled.
The decision was made after careful analysis of the extensive protocols issued by the National Honor Flight organization for resuming 2021 flights as well as the public access/gathering and COVID-19 restrictions currently in place at many of the Washington D.C. venues and the airport, as as well as on the aircraft and buses, according to a press release from the organization on July 11.
Areas of concern include COVID pre-screening of all passengers and volunteers; face covering requirements which would result in veterans and guardians being masked for multiple hours continuously during the day; COVID testing of non- or partially-vaccinated passengers; and quarantine requirements for that group upon return.
Joan Bortolon, Land of Lincoln Honor Flight president, issued the following statement:
“This decision was made after an exhaustive review and analysis of all of the factors involved in our ability to take a flight this year. Based on the current protocols and restrictions, we believe that we will not be able to provide our Veterans the full flight experience in a safe, healthy and comfortable manner. Our veterans deserve the best. We don’t want to fly just because we can. We want to fly when we can do it well and with full honors for our Veterans. We hope we will be able to resume flights in 2022.”
Land of Lincoln Honor Flight has recently developed a Flightless Honor Flight option for any World War II, Korean War Era or Vietnam War Era Veterans who anticipate that they may not be physically able to withstand the rigors of an actual Honor Flight when flights resume in 2022. Veterans who believe they might qualify for this option should contact LLHF as soon as possible for additional information. LLHF can be reached by calling 217-473-2540, 217-585-1219 or 217-652-4719 or by email at JMB4604@aol.com.
LLHF is always accepting applications from World War II, Korean Era and Vietnam Era Veterans who would like to participate on an upcoming flight.
Applications can be obtained from the website (www.landoflincolnhonorflight.org) or by emailing JMB4604@aol.com.