Monday, August 13, 2012

Stars and Stripes Honor Flight/Field of Honor Ceremony

As my three children watched footage of men in their 80's and 90's, some wrapped in blankets and being pushed in their wheelchairs, they told me it was hard for them to imagine that these were the same men from 70 years ago that they were now watching on film, talking of storming a beach, pulling dead or wounded to safety, flying overhead and dropping bombs, driving tanks through ruined city streets during World War II.

Yet here these men were-- lined up, one proudly saying, "I'm glad I was able to stop America from ever looking like what I saw."

The event, called “Field of Honor,” was held at Miller Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on August 11, 2012. A record breaking crowd for the largest film screening in history of over 30,000 came together to see the documentary, Honor Flight, in the company of living World War II veterans.  All 33,000 tickets were sold for the event that featured the premiere of this documentary, about the Stars and Stripes Honor Flights that provide free trips to Washington, D.C., for World War II veterans, their goal to transport America's veterans to Washington to visit the memorial dedicated to honor their service and sacrifice.

This past Saturday my children were there and they watched the film showing these men from WWII get ready to board 747s that would take them to see the WWII Veterans Memorial in D.C., paid for through donations of a project called "Honor Flight." The documentary provides the narrative to each of their stories.

As the men boarded the planes taking them to Washington, they had the same determination to get on this flight as they did when they entered the war 70 years ago. Despite wheelchairs, walkers, crutches, you see the resolve they have to get on this flight. As one veteran is wheeled on, he says, "Okay, here we go, just like we did before." 900 World War II veterans die every day, most of them without ever seeing the War Memorial built in their honor.

These soldiers fought protecting America, and the fortunate ones who came home, stepped off the planes and went on to live their lives. Some to never talk about what they had seen. But at first sight of each other gathered together in D.C. at the memorial, the floodgates of what they lived through, open.

The documentary shows the now time-weathered faces of the men who fought years ago, and in being honored in this magnitude, the bravado of the nineteen-year-old-boys they were at that time returns, "You shoulda seen us when we were younger!" one vet says to the camera.

Honor Flight is a feature-length documentary that chronicles a community coming together to honor living World War II veterans. The film follows a devoted team of Midwest volunteers as they race against the clock to send every local WWII veteran to the Washington, DC memorials built in their honor. Honor Flight Stories is a movement to help preserve the stories of the Greatest Generation and honor their legacy. The film Honor Flight is a feature-length documentary produced by Freethink Media.

Through the end of 2011, more than 81,000 WWII veterans were flown to Washington, D.C. to see their memorial.

I am so grateful that my children were among those present this past Saturday night to honor and greet our veterans at Miller Park Field, with a standing ovation.


  1. God bless each and every one of our veterans, for their service and sacrifice.

    1. Ms A, if you can, watch the longer version of the Honor Flight trailers on youtube. Very moving.

  2. smiles...good on you...and good on them for being right there...a lot of lessons in that too...the cost and price but also the serve...

  3. This makes my heart the best way.

    I knew nothing of this documentary or this movement to honor the veterans but I am so happy to know of it now.

    We can never do enough to repay those who've risked everything for our freedoms.

    But this is one more step toward saying thank you.

    So thank you for sharing...

  4. This is great, thanks for posting. My great-grandfather was a WWII veteran, and probably the toughest guy I know. There's something special about WWII veterans to me.

    1. I wish you could have seen this, please watch the longer trailers on youtube. The one here is a shortie but there are some 5 and 7 minute ones up on youtube.

      I cry for every one.

  5. It never ceases to amaze me. They were just little boys...and look what they did for us. We can never thank them enough.

  6. I don't have many hot buttons--but anyone who doesn't take off their hat, put their hand over their heart, anyone who doesn't respect our flag and nation and the immense sacrifice it all took to put together and keep it together...yeah, that pushes me over the edge. My husband is a veteran. He still has nightmares, knee-jerk reactions...sometimes the boys and I pay a bit of that price for the intelligence he gathered. I watched every trailer--with a box of tissues. Thank you....

  7. This is fantastic - and so very important.

    I'm glad your children go to see it, too.



  8. We are quickly losing this generation, and what they were a part of is so tremendous. I am frustrated with myself that I did not speak more to my own two grandfathers about their part in the war. All the veterans deserve to see their memorial. It is shocking that it has taken so long to erect a national monument, though.

  9. What an amazing project. I'll go watch the longer ones on youtube.

  10. My Dad was a WWII Vet. He had me in his 40's and I had kids near 40. He died 2 years ago when he was 84. He never spoke of the war till he retired and got involved with the VFW and became the commander.
    My kids were 5 and 3 when my Dad died. I try to tell them daily of his sacrifice for his country. I wish my Dad had gotten to see the memorial

  11. Wonderful, Alexandra. And I'm so glad you exposed your children to this, too. It sounds like a really amazing project.

  12. It was truly an amazing experience. I went with my husband, parents and 8 year old son and all of u
    S were deeply touched by it. If you ever have the chance to meet one of the flights when it comes into Mitchell, that is also an ncredible moment.



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