The respect continued as two veterans who couldn't make the trip were honored in a short memorial service on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
Thomas Irvin Whelan, 66, of Dixon, died May 9, 2016. He worked for 30 years as a senior nuclear maintenance mechanic for ComEd.
Before that, though, at the age of 17, he joined the Army, and served with the 173rd Airborne Brigade and the 75th Airborne Ranger Battalion in the Vietnam War. He was awarded the Gallantry Cross with a Silver Star, four Bronze Stars for Valor, four Purple Hearts, one Army Accommodation, and four Air Medals.
Robert Joseph Dempsey Sr., also of Dixon, was a Korean War Army veteran. A longtime Harmon-area farmer, he died a year later, on May 17, at the age of 84.
To honor his service, his family asked that memorials be made to Veterans Park in Dixon.
Each man was represented by a flag that was taken along and made part of the group photo.