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?”
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.