By Cindy Ortiz
Every year, U.S. war veterans are recognized and acknowledged for their commitment and sacrifice. Something few people know, however, is that not many veterans have actually visited the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. The documentary film Honor Flight shows four veteran soldiers visit the memorial for the first time in decades since their liberation.
Another remarkable aspect of the film is that the Honor Flight Network raises funds for the veterans to travel cost-free to the East Coast to visit the memorial. The network is composed of about 117 hubs across the country and has flown over 10,000 veterans to D.C. through the help of volunteers and donations.
The fact that nearly 1,000 World War II veterans die every day, according to honorflight.com, motivates Honor Flight volunteers to fly the veterans to the memorial on the last trip of their lives.
Last year, the documentary premiered in Milwaukee’s Miller Park with 28,442 in attendance and 27,022 at a soccer stadium in Brazil in 2010, according to The Huffington Post.
This year, St. Paul’s First Lutheran School will host a screening of Honor Flight. Inspired by the film, Al Mindock, teacher at the school for nearly 25 years, decided to work with his students and raise funds to fly the veterans to D.C.
The fundraising in his 8th grade class consists mainly of collection recycling and out-of-pocket donations from the church congregation and school, Mindock says. Mindock’s students have been working hard to help coordinate the hosting of the film.
“It’s a kid-driven event,” Mindock says. The kids are excited to learn and hear from the veterans about their experience.
The documentary will be shown at the campus gymnasium on Sunday, Nov. 10, at 5:30—8:30 p.m. at no cost. All donations will be sent directly to the Honor Flight San Diego hub. A student-run event, families and friends of the 8th graders will attend. Before the screening, students will play and sing patriotic songs for every branch and bring in military flags.
A donut dolly will also be present with hot coffee and fresh donuts (which soldiers would have during the war served by the Salvation Army and Red Cross nurses). Mindock says that the dolly will add “something from the past that the vets can relate to.”
After showing the film, there will be a Q&A session with veterans ages 34 to 94.
For more information on the documentary, visit honorflightthemovie.com. To make a donation, visit honorflightsandiego.org and for the film showing, visit tugg.com/events/5635.
St. Paul’s First Lutheran School is located at 11330 McCormick St. in North Hollywood. For more information, call (818) 763-2892.