One Last Mission
In many ways, World War II is an underdog story. Thousands of young boys were pulled off of their farms, pulled away from their families, and shipped all over the world to fight like heroes. Today these veterans can tell you that war is hell and they don’t mean it as a cliché, because war is the miserable failure of the human condition. These men returned home and never really talked about the war because words would never be enough to describe what they had been through and the memories were just too painful. Yet, their stories needed to be told. So a community decided to listen.
This is a heartwarming film about four World War II veterans and a Midwest community that deliberately came together to give them the trip of a lifetime.
Nearly 60 years after the end of the war, these heroes were flown to Washington DC to finally visit the memorial that was constructed in their honor in 2005. They had never gotten the ‘welcome home’ celebration that they deserved, but as they looked at the monument, many of them now in their 80s and early 90s, cried openly.
At the end of that first flight, many more veterans and their families heard about the trip and started signing up. They also wanted to experience the validation. Even if they knew that what they had done was great and changed the course of history, they still needed to hear that the world appreciated their sacrifice.
For many veterans, it isn’t only about finally receiving recognition; it’s about having survived the reality of hell. Many describe the Honor Flight as one of the best days of their lives.
Due to the fact that every day nearly 1,000 WWII veterans die, getting them on an Honor Flight on time can be a challenge and a constant race against the clock. It’s heartbreaking to make the call to inform a veteran that he will be on the next flight and to find out that he passed away.
As this Honor Flight trip unfolds, Orville, Julian, Joe, Harvey and others candidly share their stories and the wisdom they have acquired through the years. While the Honor Flight program was initiated to give something back to these heroes, to them it means so much more. What amazes all involved is their appreciation for freedom, their love for life, and the way they continue to give of themselves, transforming the lives of everyone they meet. Watch this touching documentary now.