A boisterous hall became silent as a pastor prayed for those who fought in war and for those who have donated to help send veterans east to see the memorials erected in their honor.
The Madera Veterans of Foreign Wars Hall was filled to capacity during a fundraising dinner for the 2014 Central Valley Honor Flight. Some patrons ordered takeout because there was no space left to sit and eat, organizers said.
The event, organized by the Madera Rotary Club and the Madera Veterans of Foreign Wars Herbert E. Macon Post 1981, helped raise funds to send local veterans to Washington, D.C. to commemorate their sacrifice and honor their service. Money raised pays for flights, hotels and food for the veterans during their three-day, two-night trip, organizers said. Each is also accompanied by a guardian, who provides assistance throughout the trip.
It takes $1,500 to pay for each veteran, organizers said. During the trip, World War II veterans see a World War II Memorial dedicated to them in 2004. They also see other war monuments, such as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery...