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The Honor Flight national office announced Friday all Honor Flights are grounded for the remainder of the year.

An Honor Flight is conducted by nonprofit organizations dedicated to transporting as many United States military veterans as possible to see the memorials of the respective wars they fought in Washington, D.C., at no cost to the veterans.

There will be no Honor Flights from anywhere in the country until sometime in 2021.

Since its inception in 2009, the Central Missouri Honor Flight Chapter has transported thousands of veterans to Washington on 59 flights. Top priority is given to senior veterans — WWII survivors, along with other veterans of Korea and Vietnam who may be terminally ill.

"Of course, we are disappointed, but we do completely agree with the decision," said Mary Paulsell, Central Missouri Honor Flight Chapter president. "It makes no sense to risk the health and safety of our wonderful veterans. So, we support the national office's decision."

Paulsell added, "The COVID-19 crisis has had an impact on everyone in our nation. In the face of that reality, delaying our flights until next year, while disappointing, pales in comparison to the challenges many are facing. We look forward to next spring when we hope to once again take to the skies to honor those who have protected our nation."

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