Oct 14, 2013, Vol. 19, No. 06 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
While it was inevitable that a government shutdown would involve vindictive theatrics designed to make life irksome for ordinary Americans, the directive from the White House’s Office of Management and Budget to close off the World War II Memorial on the National Mall was remarkable in that it was designed to punish some of our most extraordinary citizens. Since 2005, the organization Honor Flight has had as its mission to get as many World War II veterans as possible to Washington, D.C., to visit their memorial, at no cost to them. These trips naturally require a good deal of advance planning. So the Obama administration’s efforts to blockade the memorial place in jeopardy the only opportunity some of these men will ever have to see the memorial.
It is to America’s considerable shame that a national World War II memorial wasn’t finished and dedicated until 2004. Since then, Honor Flight has been in a race against time. The 18-year-olds who stormed the beaches at Normandy turned 87 this year. The Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that some 640 World War II veterans die every day.
While we hope the cause of Honor Flight is near and dear to all Americans, it takes on special resonance here in the offices of The Weekly Standard. Dan Hayes, the younger brother of our colleague Stephen F. Hayes, is a talented young filmmaker whose crowning achievement thus far has been to direct a remarkable documentary, Honor Flight, that tells the story of the brave World War II vets and their moving experiences as a result of their trips to the memorial. The film is well worth seeking out, available for just $3.99 as a digital rental on Amazon.com.
As Will Rogers once said, “We can’t all be heroes. Some of us have to stand on the curb and clap as they go by.” Maybe you’ll be seated on your couch instead of standing on the curb, but The Scrapbook guarantees that viewing Honor Flight will move you to applause. Further, the Honor Flight organization is always in need of volunteers and financial assistance. So visit HonorFlight.org to see what you can do for the men who did so much for us.
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