MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Millions are hitting the road and sky on Wednesday to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday. 

Airports across the country are expected to see numbers that have not been seen since 2019. 

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the Sunday following are always expected to be some of the busiest days at the airport.

Many travelers at the Memphis International Airport said the Thanksgiving holiday is all about embracing one another and remembering the lives lost during the pandemic.

For many travelers at Memphis International Airport, this was a moment that has been years in the making.

“2019 was the last time we were able to do this due to COVID and other reasons. Last year we couldn’t make the travel so we’re super excited about this,” traveler Marnette Cobb of Detroit said.

Cobb is among the 78,000 people projected to pass through security at Memphis International Airport this Thanksgiving. That’s a 90% increase from last year. 

Like a number of families, the Cobb’s have lost loved ones due to COVID-19.

“It’s definitely gonna be a void but the thing is we’re not gonna let their legacy be forgotten so we’re looking forward to sharing the jokes that they would have shared, talk about the things that made them so special,” Cobb said.

With vaccines readily available this year, travelers said it made the decision to fly a bit easier.

With pre-pandemic travel levels expected, many are hoping that a page is turning on a chapter that claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands.

“I said I would never miss a time again with my mom for the holiday season and now that we’re in this time where hopefully people are doing what they need to do so we can stay safe,” Traveler Leslie Lee said.

Memphis International Airport recommends travelers arrive at least two hours before departure to avoid missed flights.