FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) –  Residents welcomed home military veterans Wednesday night at the first Honor Flight Northeast Indiana “Welcome Home” celebration since October 2019.

The festivities kicked off around 8 p.m. as the public lined up to honor the dozens of veterans who spent the day in Washington D.C. The “Welcome Home” celebration was canceled for the last three years due to COVID-19 and construction at the Fort Wayne International Airport (FWA).

Honor Flight’s 42nd group of veterans left for Washington D.C. early Wednesday morning.

Wednesday night, Vietnam, Korean and Cold War veterans returned back to FWA to a crowd cheering them on.

David Cuneo told WANE 15 he attended the celebration to support his friend who went on the Honor Flight.

“This is an honor [to be] supporting the veterans, which they need to be supported,” Cuneo said.

The celebration also gave the public the chance to welcome home 57 Vietnam veterans who never got a welcome home when the war ended.

Tim Leedy, an Air Force veteran during the Vietnam War, told WANE 15 he went on a previous Honor Flight and that it’s great to see people are able to express their support for military veterans through the “Welcome Home” celebrations again.

The trip was dedicated to Sandie Meyer, who was instrumental to Honor Flight Northeast Indiana. She passed away in June 2020. Her family laid a wreath at Arlington Cemetery in her honor Wednesday.

The next Honor Flight on the schedule is the organization’s first Purple Heart flight, which will be Aug. 7.