DENISON, TEXAS -- Unlike many of the veterans lined up to see these World War II bombers, Mary Day didn't serve in the military or crew one of these winged fortresses.
"I enjoyed looking out, but mostly I was thinking about the people that had been there before me," Day said.
But her ride in this B-17 Wednesday morning still had great meaning, as she flew in honor of two friends, who were gunners in the tail of the plane.
"Both of them flew over 30 missions over occupied Europe," Day said.
"Ted" Nurre and "Bernie" Kuse passed away this year, within days of one another.
"I thought of them the entire trip," Day said.
In fact, they were two of four local World War II veterans, who all died within three months time.
Day, and her Air Force veteran husband Jerry, were close to them.
"I respect them, of their leadership in World War II," Jerry Day said.
Day says she couldn't sleep the night before boarding this plane, knowing the emotions she'd feel sitting in their place.
"I told Ted last spring when the planes were here that I was going to ride this for him and he sat back in the back and told me about the things he did in the plane, so, I'll never forget them," Day said.
It's estimated that 670 World War II veterans die each day, and along with them, many heroic stories of the war.
For the Day's, it's their mission to honor those veterans and keep their memories alive.
"We are losing so many of them every day. It makes us so sad. I hope they never forget what they did for our country in World War II," Jerry Day said.