PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- For several years, a non-profit organization has been providing trips to the World War II Memorial for veterans.
On Sunday, seven veterans from Maine will catch an "honor flight" to Washington D.C.
It is the first time 88-year-old Ted Wirth will have seen the memorial.
"I saw her. Afterwards we went to the reception, and I spent the rest of my time at the reception with her."
Ted met Rene in 1945 when Ted was less than two months out of the Army.
"I liked him right away," says Rene. "Very much so."
Ted had just served two years in the 116th Battalion and
says he's lucky to be alive after what happened.
"To land on the beach under invasion, after what I've seen... Yeah, I'm lucky."
Storming Utah Beach in Normandy, fighting in the Battle of the Bulge, and aiding in the liberation of concentration camps in Germany. All alongside Rene's brother, who is the only person from Ted's outfit he knows is still alive.
"I'm not a nostalgic person basically, but something like this... It's a big impact on your life. It's not like graduating high school. It's a bigger thing in life. And you meet a lot of great guys in the service and theoretically, you hate to lose touch with a lot of them."
For that reason, Honor Flight New England provides World War II veterans with a trip to their memorial in Washington, D.C.
Ted's daughter-in-law, Nannette will be by his side.
"We get along like a house on fire," says Nannette.
And while Ted says it's unlikely he'll find someone he knows, he does plan to have a few words and ask around.
"Glad to see you. Glad you're still on the other side of the grass. See if I can find out where they were, what outfits they were with."
Hanging on to history is important to Ted, and keeping in touch with members of his generation. He says the one time he planned a veterans trip, it fell through... "So this trip makes up for it."
The World War II Memorial reopened on Thursday after the government shutdown ended.