Properly Honored, at Last


All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope.                       ~ Winston Churchill

On Monday at our weekly Kiwanis meeting, we saw a touching DVD of World War II Veterans taking a flight of a lifetime to Washington, DC. The Honor Flight is a program that transports veterans of the Second World War to see the memorial that was built in their honor. For many of these vets, the trip is not an easy one due their age and failing health, but for many veterans it fulfills a dream of a lifetime to see the capital of the country they so bravely fought for many, many years ago. 

The World War II Memorial was completed in 2004. It was built on the National Mall in Washington, DC and it consists of 56 pillars and a pair of arches which surround a beautiful reflecting pool and fountain. During WWII, the gold star was the symbol of family sacrifice, thus a field of 4,000 gold stars incorporated into the Memorial commemorate the more than 400,000 Americans who gave their lives in their fight for freedom. 

Almost 400 veterans from this area, the Western Slope of Colorado, have made a flight with their compatriots to see the World War II Memorial built to honor their military service. A better way to honor the vets and give them one “last hurrah” would be difficult to find. Family members, veterans of other wars and community volunteers accompany these aging vets to make the help make trip as easy as they possibly can. Many of the WWII vets have ambulatory and other health issues, so charter flights helps make the trip a little less difficult. Their bodies may be failing them, but their strong spirits carry them through and it is truly a trip well worth making, each one of them would tell you, I am sure. 

Almost every State in the Union has honor flights several times a year. If you would like more information on donating to this wonderful cause, please visit  We are hoping as a club, Kiwanis International of Steamboat Springs, Colorado  will be able to provide support for this wonderful program. If you wish to accompany a flight as a volunteer or would like to provide financial support to the West Slope Honor Flight, please visit

Thank you to all World War II veterans ( and all veterans of the military) for  the sacrifices that you have made for your countrymen so that we may enjoy the freedoms that we do today.

4 thoughts on “Properly Honored, at Last

  1. What a great program! I’m sure it means the world for these Vets to be able to see this. Living in DC area myself, I can tell you that seeing this makes one very proud of our country, it a a beautiful tribute to those that have served to protect our freedom. Thanks to all those in the military who serve.

  2. I am grateful for those who on their own dollars and time, accompany these vets on the trip. Otherwise for many the trip would be too difficult to make. Extra help is often needed for those in wheelchairs.

  3. As one who has had the privilege, honor and blessing of being a guardian of 3 WWII Veterans to see the memorial built in their honor, I can tell you that each one touched me deeply. Each flight is dedicated to make sure that each Veteran is honored from the loading of the plane, to the grand reception upon arrival home. They get to see the changing of the guard at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington, the Iwo Jima Marine Corps, WWII, Korean, Vietnam, and Lincoln memorials. All air fare, chartered bus, meals and hotel room free of charge and all done by donations. If you know any of our nation’s most senior heroes & terminally ill Veterans of all wars/conflicts (WWII, Korea, Vietnam) that have not been on an honor flight and would like to go, please help them find the closest one and get signed up for the next flight. Western Slope Honor Flight in Grand Junction CO has some openings for their May 4th 2011 flight. Go to for more information. God Bless America and God bless all of our Veterans, serving now or that have served in the past. Bill

  4. Thank you Bill for the presentation you gave to our Kiwanis club. It was very enlightening and thank you for volunteering in these efforts. I found the envelope with cards, pictures and memorabilia to each vet a really nice touch for the vets as part of their Honor Flight.

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