World War II veteran James Brown still remembers the moment he learned about the bombing of Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.
He was selling ice cream at a confectionery shop in Oklahoma City. He also remembers hearing Franklin D. Roosevelt's famous speech about the bombing and how it was a "day that would live in infamy forever."
"It made me want to not only help defend our country, but eliminate the Germans and the Japanese from taking over the world," Brown said.
On Feb. 17, 1943, only days after he turned 17, Brown enlisted in the Marines. He served in the Pacific during the war.
Last week, Brown, a part-time Farmington resident who spends his winters in Arizona, and 27 other World War II veterans boarded a plane in Phoenix to travel to Washington, D.C., to see the National World War II Memorial.
The trip was put together by the Northern Arizona hub of the Honor Flights organization.
The Honor Flights started in 2005 when six small planes flew 12 veterans out of Ohio to see the memorial. Since then, the program has grown considerably. It currently has 135 hubs in 42 states.
As of December 2013, the organization had flown 117,556 veterans to the memorial, and the organization predicts that by the end of this year, that number should be close to 130,000, according to Angela Smith, who works at the Ohio headquarters.