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ST. LOUIS - It was a surprise party so big it had to be held in an airplane hangar.

Shortly after 6 p.m. the buses arrived at Jet-Linx at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, and the door to the hangar was opened where hundreds of people were waiting.

On the bus? American heroes. They had been on a, Honor Flight earlier this month to Washington, D.C., where the veterans got to see the World War II and Korean War memorials built for them.

But their plane home was delayed for so long they didn't get the welcome home they deserved. So on Thursday, they finally did.

"The veteran goes on the honor flight but it's really a family affair. The whole family rallies behind these members of the greatest generation to give them the tribute that they're due late in their lives. I think it's because of the family and friends and they just missed that and we need to give them that," said Rick Randall.

In addition to family and friends, the Patriot Guard, Southwest Airline employees and Honor Flight volunteers were there for the surprise thank you.

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