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Veterans from Arizona make emotional journey to national war memorials

PHOENIX — A group of Arizona’s World War II veterans is in Washington, D.C., this week to see the memorials dedicated to their efforts thanks to a nonprofit.

Honor Flight Arizona flew the group there at not charge after raising funds. Founder Susan Howe said it was a way to thank them for their service.

Howe said the group departing Sky Harbor Airport on Tuesday was rather small.

“Sixteen World War Two veterans, and nine ‘Rosies,’” she said.

“Rosies” refers to “Rosie the Riveter,” or women who supported the U.S. war effort. They made bombs and planes; flew planes wherever they needed to go; and even sewed soldiers’ uniforms.

Darlene Cowan of Mesa was a Rosie in her junior and senior years of high school, stitching soldiers’ uniforms in a local factory.

Tuesday was her first Honor Flight. The organization flies World War II and Korean War veterans to the nation’s capital to see the memorials to their wars.

“I’m just real excited to go,” Cowan said. “I can’t believe it’s been that long ago.”

The group’s flight was paid for by donations from the community.

They return Thursday afternoon.

The next scheduled trip on Southwest Airlines, the last of the year, is Nov. 1.

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