Local woman gets special honor in Washington D.C.

A local woman gets a special ceremony in Washington D.C.

By Ashley Richmond | arichmond@whbf.com

Published 07/05 2015 11:46PM

Updated 07/05 2015 11:46PM

The WWII Memorial was just one of the highlights for several veterans on the 32nd Honor Flight of the Quad Cities.
 
But to one local woman who never served in the military, the flight meant so much... for a different reason.
 
 Just like every other veteran and guardian on the 32nd Honor Flight of the Quad Cities.. Ann Hanson is excited.  
 
"Well I put my name on the list a couple of years ago but I had to pass on my first call because and on the second call I said I would like to go," said Hanson.
 
She's a guardian.. 
 
"This is my veteran, Robert Long, and he is retired Navy and so I am escorting him and I'm looking forward to our day," said Hanson.
 
But there's more to Ann's journey. 
 
" He wasn't able to make the trip," said Hanson.
 
Ann is talking about her father. 
 
"Robert Hohnbaum was born October 24th, 1922 and served in the Army during WWII in the 10th Armored division in the European operation.  He was awarded three bronze medals.  He was very proud of his military time and defending the freedom of his country.  He died Saturday, August 15th, 1998 in Davenport, Iowa," said Hanson in a speech delivered at the WWII Memorial in Washington D.C.
 
When Ann got the call from Honor Flight organizers, she wasn't prepared for what came next. 
 
"I told them I was going in honor of my father, Robert Hohnbaum and they asked me if I had his flag and I said yes, I have his coffin flag.  So they told me to bring it along with a photograph and a small eulogy and they would be reading that at the World War II Memorial, placing it in a wheelchair and they would make a tribute to him," said Hanson. "I had no idea they did this.  When they said that, I was kind of dumbfounded. I thought it was for the living vets.  So I am really excited that I can do this for him and I know that he would be proud of that." 
 
Ann paid tribute to her father at the memorial built in his honor..
 
"He flew the U.S. flag proudly and he was buried on the Rock Island Arsenal's military cemetery.  Thank you," said Hanson during her speech.
 
She says this trip, and this ceremony, provide a long awaited sense of closure. 
 
"It does, It does, because the war meant a lot to him and he was one that if there was a gift to be given, he always gave the American Flag.  So it was, it is closure," said Hanson.
 
 

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