Honor flight veterans greeted with open arms

National Park Service guards greeted veterans as they crossed the barricades to the monuments, thanking them for their service.

It was a hero's homecoming for northwest Ohio veterans that traveled to our naton's capital despite the threat of arrest during the partial government shutdown.

More than 70 veterans went on a flight from the Toledo Airport Wednesday morning on a mission to see the war memorials built in their honor.

WATCH: WNWO's Chris Delcamp came along to follow their journeys.

More than 75 percent of veterans who served during World War II, never got to see the completion of the memorial in 2004. One veteran, Hubble Finch, thought this was his shining moment.

"I wanted to make it, but I never thought I would," Finch said.

Ohio political leaders greeted the veterans as they arrived. National Park Service guards shook hands with them as they crossed the barricades to the monuments, thanking them for their service.

Veterans celebrated this time by taking pictures and sharing each other's stories. Many of them marveled at the monuments, as some veterans used wheelchairs to get around.

"I hope they realize how happy this trip made us old goats feel," one veteran told WNWO.

And when they returned back home to Ohio later that night, friends and families welcomed home veterans with encouraging banners and balloons.

"I haven't been there about 50 years ago, but now look what it is -- it is something. I felt free. I've been through it and I know what I did," one veteran said at the Toledo Airport.

In recent weeks of the shutdown, some visitors to monuments and parks closed did not receive the same treatment.

Tearful WWII veteran turned away from Ohio museum

More than 35,000 veterans scheduled a visit to the site throughout this month.