Video: Nearly 4 million views for “Honor Flight” film project

posted at 2:00 pm on May 30, 2011 by Tina Korbe

A little more than a month ago, my friends Clay Broga and Dan Hayes of Freethink Media forwarded me the trailer to a documentary they plan to release in November and asked that I consider sharing the video with my own friends and colleagues. I watched the trailer — and tears started to stream down my face. I immediately forwarded it to my extended family.

“Honor Flight” tells the story of The Honor Flight Network and “Operation Resolve,” a mission to fly as many WWII vets to Washington D.C. to see their memorial as possible — at no cost to them. It’s an urgent cause: 1,000 WWII veterans die every day. Both my grandfather and my great uncle fought in WWII. My grandpa was never able to make it to the memorial — but my great uncle just made the “Honor Flight.”

Apparently, I wasn’t the only one to find this two-minute tribute to veterans like my family members moving enough to share. Dan and Clay hoped to hit 50,000 views by today, Memorial Day. Instead, through Facebook Causes, they’ve reached nearly 4 million.

Filming the documentary has also had a profound impact on Dan and Clay.

“Honor Flight is a vehicle for friends and family to express their appreciation and gratitude for what these people have done in their lives—it just happens to be wrapped in a military theme,” Dan has said. “Throughout the film, it’s basically a direct challenge to the viewer—have you thought about this? Have you thought about your freedom, truly and deeply? And what are you doing with this incredible gift of freedom?”

Clay writes:

Making this film has been life-changing for me. It’s led me to reflect on my priorities in life … and the way I live my life, in ways I never have before. For Memorial Day, I encourage you to reflect on Stars and Stripes Honor Flight’s motto, “Every day is a bonus” and what it really means to live free in this great country. I know I am.

I’m taking his suggestion — and I hope you will, too.


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Wow. Let’s get these guys and gals there to see it before it’s too late. God bless them!

Chappy on May 30, 2011 at 2:10 PM

totally tearing up. Thanks Ed, for showing this clip…

Ed, something to ponder and maybe get these two on another film. Korean War Veterans, please don’t let them go forgotten.

upinak on May 30, 2011 at 2:11 PM

Oops, I meant Tina.

Ugh, need more coffee.

upinak on May 30, 2011 at 2:11 PM

I’m crying in the middle of the afternoon.

SouthernGent on May 30, 2011 at 2:13 PM

You forgot to post the kleenex!

scalleywag on May 30, 2011 at 2:21 PM

Gosh here I go again with tears. There are very percious few WW11 or Korena vets still with us. Our home thanks each and every one of for you service. May God bless and keep you and your families.
L

letget on May 30, 2011 at 2:22 PM

I was humbled and honored to be at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier about 2-3 wks ago when a busload of Honor Flight veterans attended the changing of the guard at 5 pm. What a great group of fellas.

ted c on May 30, 2011 at 2:24 PM

Beautiful,Honour and Dignity!

canopfor on May 30, 2011 at 2:25 PM

At church yesterday the priest asked for all military veterans in the congregation to particpate in bring up the gifts (the wine and the host for those not familiar) to the altar. About 18 of us went to the back of the church to participate and the two oldest veterans present, both in their 90′s, actually carried the gifts as we escorted them. Despite the camaraderie of being in the presence of my fellow veterans, I was humbled and in awe of these two WWII vets.

Trafalgar on May 30, 2011 at 2:26 PM

I went to our local airport a few weeks ago to welcome home the last Honor Air flight here in Asheville NC and it was such a privilege to be in that airport thanking our WWII heroes.

kathleen on May 30, 2011 at 2:28 PM

“Throughout the film, it’s basically a direct challenge to the viewer—have you thought about this? Have you thought about your freedom, truly and deeply? And what are you doing with this incredible gift of freedom?”

I don’t believe a day goes by that I am not eternally grateful to those who sacrificed to make this great nation possible. My first trip to Arlington Cemetery was overwhelming. And those white headstones only represent a fraction of those who gave it all so that we can enjoy the freedoms we have.

I am blessed to live in the USA. I don’t shun my European roots…but I won’t ever hyphenate my American status. God bless those who serve, and those that have died in the line of duty, I am eternally grateful.

JetBoy on May 30, 2011 at 2:30 PM

This makes the upcoming 2012 elections all the more frightening.

Uncle Sams Nephew on May 30, 2011 at 2:39 PM

Thanks for sharing…

and thanks to those who made the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms we enjoy.

cs89 on May 30, 2011 at 2:46 PM

My dad served in Guam in WWII and died 15 years ago. He had Alzheimer’s and wouldn’t have known a memorial was even being discussed. We went to DC about 4 years ago. I absolutely lost it while at the WWII memorial. It is a breathtaking monument and as you stand in it and look around, it strikes you – the magnitude of the world’s losses and the evil in the world. Hundreds of framed photos of handsome young men in their dress uniforms surrounded the “bowl”, lots of wheelchair bound veterans, many people sitting in quiet contempation, many elderly women mourning the loss of husbands or brothers (perhaps sisters). It’s an extraordinary site. I hope everyone can see it at some point – especially our beloved WWII vets.

Yellowdog12 on May 30, 2011 at 2:53 PM

I have had the privilege as a volunteer to “Welcome Home” many of our WWII veterans who have been able to make the trip to Wash D.C. To say it is an amazing feeling to be there is to put it mildly.

I recall one vet telling me that it was like his wedding day or the birth of his child. The airport is packed…for them. They are so deserving. They deserve so much more.

Many don’t know that the flight, hotel and food are all made through personal donations. So if anyone feels so inclined on this special day, please look up Honor Flight and send them a few bucks.

Thank you for posting this Tina!! The more attention to Honor Flight the better because we are losing so many each day.

NYconservative on May 30, 2011 at 3:17 PM

Wow, just wow. Humbled and awed.

indypat on May 30, 2011 at 3:20 PM

Bravo…!

golfmann on May 30, 2011 at 3:37 PM

Myself and a friend went to Reagan national to greet these men upon their arrival to DC last weekend. We’ll be returning to do the same every weekend we possibly can. The appreciation in their eyes is unforgettable. Anybody in the area who wants to join us please do. I’m trying to recruit as many as possible.

Zetterson on May 30, 2011 at 3:44 PM

As a Vet I want to thank all of you for your support of us. To all my sisters and brothers in green I embrace you. For those who never made it home I cry, pray and thank you.

Teleycoman on May 30, 2011 at 3:48 PM

I was at the WWII museum in New Orleans last month. They have a landing craft (Higgins boat) there with a guestbook in front of it for those that rode, drove or helped build them.

A real old guy went up and signed it and I wandered over to look. “Okinawa.” My eyes started tearing up right then and there.

WitchDoctor on May 30, 2011 at 4:49 PM

That’s awesome!

I worked an Honor Flight once from Detroit to Baltimore, during the flight I took my iPhone out, held it up to the mic and played “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” over the loudspeaker, the Old Timers loved it!

Good job, Tina!

Tony737 on May 30, 2011 at 5:32 PM

Here’s a video I made at the Baltimore airport of some WW2 Vets coming back from a trip to the Memorial …

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=41pqmuQhLXA

… once they boarded their plane, it became an Honor Flight.

Tony737 on May 30, 2011 at 5:51 PM

“The Greatest Generation”

Thanks to my uncles who served in WW2, one of whom landed on Omaha beach and could not talk about thru the remainder of his life.

Thanks to my Dad and all who served in the shipyards and the hard work that they did for our great country and the victory that they all contributed to.

Pass the tissue.

ORrighty on May 30, 2011 at 5:56 PM

My dad was the greatest man I ever knew. He was a causality of WWII thirty years after the war ended. He drank himself to death in order to stop the screams of the men he served with. My aunt was my hero, and his sister. She died right before him from kidney failure since as a battle field nurse, she never stopped working while she had double pneumonia while the battle of Monte Casino raged. We spoiled brats that live in the America they suffered and died for will probably never get the big picture, but thank the Lord almighty a few still stand watch and fight and suffer to keep the rest of us free.

Hening on May 30, 2011 at 6:47 PM

Thank you for posting this, it is very heartwarming..

tinkerthinker on May 30, 2011 at 7:32 PM

When I visited D.C. for the first time at 47 years old, I figured it would be the Vietnam War Memorial that would be the most beautiful. However I found the Korean War Memorial the most spectacular Memorial I’d ever seen. The Memorial at the Pentagon for the 9/11 victims was also stunning, but I took the most pictures of the Korean War Memorial and all the different faces of the soldiers.

jaimo on May 30, 2011 at 7:40 PM

My Navy veteran father passed away three years ago. The year before he died, he was able to participate in an Honors Flight from south Georgia. He was very moved by this experience. I had rarely seen my “tough as nails” dad cry. But when he returned from this flight to all the cheering, he was brought to tears. It was a very moving experience for our whole family.

susieq2cute on May 30, 2011 at 7:44 PM

I attended one of these Honor Flight returns a few months ago at RDU (NC). I went because my Grandmother’s brother, Howard, was on the flight. He was the oldest fella on his trip – 98 – and his face was that of a delighted kid, being wheeled through that HUGE crowd of welcomers. It was breathtaking…and an incredible experience for us, as much as for him. :)

Howard, here’s to you!! And to ALL of our WWII vets. Thank you for your service, and for insuring our freedoms.

We love you!

tickleddragon on May 30, 2011 at 9:42 PM

When I was in DC for last years 9/12 rally I saw some Honor Flight participants there with their spouses. I thanked them-and their active duty escorts-for their service and then respectfully left them to their memories. I’m normally a first-class big mouth-but these heroes left me in awe.

annoyinglittletwerp on May 31, 2011 at 12:07 AM

I just watched the video.
Damn Texas allergies are making my eyes leak.

annoyinglittletwerp on May 31, 2011 at 12:13 AM

My brother is a TV News guy in Iowa and he has covered several Honor Flights and has done stories about the man who coordinates them in that area. They are all very moving stories.

My best friend’s father passed away last week – a WWII veteran and POW. He escaped three times from his POW prison only to be turned in and returned to his captors by the French where he was physically punished each time. It did not deter him from continuing to try to escape. He was loved by so many people here and he received a military honor guard, taps and 21-gun salute at his funeral on Friday.

Princess Bernie on May 31, 2011 at 9:27 AM

Sharing. As a 25 year (retired) veteran, the first time I have shared my horrors of Vietnam came recently (June 2010) when I had to see my eldest son off to Afghanistan.

It was cathartic, and we are the only ones to know the facts, of what Daddy did during the War.

MSGTAS on May 31, 2011 at 10:47 AM