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 www.honorflight.org. We are hoping as a club, Kiwanis International of Steamboat Springs, Colorado http://on.fb.me/epjzSf 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 http://www.westernslopehonorflight.com/.
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.