ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Honor Flight Rochester was gearing up for take-off for the 20th anniversary of 9/11, but have decided to postpone flights for this season due to COVID-19 concerns.

Honor Flight is a non-profit that flies veterans to Washington, D.C. to see some of the greatest monuments and memorials in the nation, all at no cost to the veteran.

Since it launched in 2008, Honor Flight Rochester has flown 69 missions, taking 3,378 veterans from the Greater Rochester region all the way down to the Capitol.

Richard Stewart, the President of Honor Flight Rochester, said the experience for those who served, is a bonding occasion like no other.

“It’s special, it really is,” Stewart said. “The veterans are with other veterans who went through the same thing 50, 60, and 70 years ago. And they open up, and they become friends for the weekend.”

He says this fall, they decided to call off their flights planned due to COVID-19 concerns. Protecting these veterans and their families is a top priority for Honor Flight Rochester.

“Here we are, just about two weeks to go and it’s just a ‘no-go’ situation,” Peter Glennon, the Co-Founder and Chairman of Board of Directors with Honor Flight Rochester said. “That’s about 350 veterans each year that we fly… and we’re just over 1,000 waiting to fly.”

This spring, they hope to take off again if COVID-19 numbers drop. 

“We are postponing but mission 70 for Honor Flight Rochester will take flight,” Glennon said. “The reality is we’d rather keep you safe here around friends and family. You’re that important to us.”