Recently I had the opportunity to attend the premiere of Hudson Valley Honor Flight: "Generation Bridge", A Documentary by Joe Allen. Being the wife of a Veteran, and the daughter of a NSO for the Purple Heart I'm sure it comes as no surprise that I absolutely loved the film. I had an idea that I was going to like it... I just didn't know by the end of it I would be crying like a baby.
Hudson Valley Honor Flight (HVHF) is a 501c3 nonprofit organization which “Honors American Veterans” for all their sacrifices. They transport these heroes to Washington, D.C. to visit their memorials at no cost to them. Hudson Valley Honor Flight is a local hub of the National Honor Flight Network (which consists of over 100 independent non-profit “hubs” across America). Sadly, over 550 World War II veterans die everyday, our time to express our thanks to these brave men and women is running out.
There were moments in the film that just hit me like a brick. One in particular was an interview with a student who had attended a Q&A session with the Veterans. He made the observation that the veterans gave up so much. The student couldn't imagine anyone today going three days without their smart phones... Yet the Greatest Generation went years without seeing friends, family, or anything familiar. They spent years fighting in foreign lands, with little resources and in conditions hard to comprehend. At home and abroad Americans from the Greatest Generation made do with little, mandatory rationing and most didn't complain.
Just think about that for a minute... what do you think would happen today if we were put onto mandatory rationing. Even for the sake of national security, safety or long term survival of our nation from an enemy attack. The word chaos is one of many that come to my mind... can anyone say hurricane Katrina? See many people in today's day and age are far too wrapped up in "me, myself and I" to think about giving up something for someone else, especially for a someone else you have never met before. The men and women of the Greatest Generation did, and they did it without complaining.
Most have no idea what price was paid for the lives we have. The world might look a lot different today had it not been for their courage, strength and determination. The resolve of those men and women to stand and do whatever was not only asked of them, but necessary to stop evil. Again another moment that hit me like a brick... Every one of them even seven decades later knew what they were fighting for. Though most of them don't consider themselves heroes, and are very humble about their achievements. When telling their individual stories they all knew why they did it, and what they were fighting against.
Today we are losing these national treasures at an alarming rate, while at the same time facing an enemy potentially worse than what they faced in their day. Most frightening about our situation is that no one will give it a name. No one will call it for what it is and for the sake of political correctness or not offending anyone, the United States of America won't fight. Of course there are those who will call it what it is, but they are vilified and labeled as far right loons, racist, bigoted or all kinds of other terms intended to discourage anyone from speaking out. All the while... evil is on the march again in the world, and the only ones who really know what that means, who really know what is at stake are dying.
"The American's Are Coming"... that statement meant something to the people of the world in those days. I wonder what that means to people in the world today? In the days of the Greatest Generation you had men like Winston Churchill who were not afraid to call evil for what was, and were willing to stand up to fight it. One of Churchill's most famous quotes:
"Victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival." - Sir Winston Churchill
Jump to our day and age... a person was arrested in the UK for quoting Winston Churchill in public for "hate speech". Ironically Churchill is one of their own, and one of the heroes responsible for preventing the UK (and the rest of the world for that matter) from all speaking German today. I can't understand how political correctness has become more important then right and wrong.
So sadly when evil is on the march all over the world, and the world is on the brink of WWIII the Americans aren't coming. Never before has our nations history been more important to our survival. The time is now to honor the men and women of The Greatest Generation. To seek them out to honor and learn from them, their information and experiences are priceless.
Find them and connect them with an Honor Flight network in their area. It's my opinion that someone in the Veterans Administration should be tasked with contacting every living WWII Veteran first, then down the line to provide the Honor Flight Network contact information, and ensure every one of them are able to participate in an event. We can all be a part of helping that happen. If you know a WWII Veteran, or veteran of any foreign war contact them and make sure they have the information. Some are living alone without family or help. Taking a little time and effort could mean a life changing event for someone who gave so much so that we may have the life we have today... time is running out.
Here is the video to my song "I Carry You With Me" written about grief and loss. The video was dedicated to our nations veterans because more than anyone they and their families face grief and loss far too often. The ones we love are never really far from us, we carry them with us until we see them again. Americans should always carry with them the men and women of The Greatest Generation.
Blessings, Love & Music ~