It has been nearly 70 years since Fannie Donovan left the Washington D.C. area after her discharge as a nurse in the U.S. Army at Fort Belvoir.
Earlier this year, she made a return trip.
And, as one of her grand-daughters said while they were there, “Grandma, you’re a rock star.”
On April 5 and 6, Donovan had the opportunity to fly to Washington D.C. as part of an Honor Flight, originating from Rochester, N.Y., to visit the World War II Memorial, constructed to remember the “Greatest Generation” and their contribution to the war effort during World War II.
“It was all great,” she said of the trip, which included 42 male veterans as well as three other women. “That was something because you see women. (Women) really weren’t recognized as veterans until 1975. I didn’t realize that they didn’t recognize them until then.”
While at the memorial, one of her daughters, Cindi Hummel, said that people were swarming the group of veterans asking questions about their work, bands were playing and choirs were singing.
“In the army you had mail call, (we) had mail call on the bus,” she said. That meant that she was given five letters written by school children as part of the Honor Flight program.
“I answered them all,” she said. “It was interesting to read their letters Three of them had someone in the service themselves. They wanted to know what kind of work I did. They were all told where I was stationed.”
The trip took the veterans to the other memorials on the National Mall, as well.
“I just couldn’t get over the statues,” she said.
And the trip was even more special because her family was able to come with her.
“It’s a wonderful trip,” she added.
Hummel said that a motorcycle group from Rochester met the plane and served as honor guard bringing the bus into D.C.
And the city doesn’t look anything like it did 70 years ago.
“What I could see, everything looked so different,” she said. “We were just around the memorials. You were just in a bus, walked around the memorials.”