“We can’t all be heroes. Some of us have to stand on the curb and clap as they go by.” – Will Rogers
As we honor and remember our veterans today, I thought it was the perfect time to post about a recent trip I took. It was an an incredibly moving experience and one I will remember always. I was invited to travel with 103 World War II veterans from Oklahoma as part of the organization, Honor Flight Network. Honor Flight Network is a non-profit organization created solely to honor America’s veterans for all their sacrifices. They transport our nation’s heroes to Washington, D.C. to visit and reflect at their memorials. Top priority is given to the senior veterans – World War II survivors, along with those other veterans who may be terminally ill. Of all of the wars in our country’s history, it was World War II that truly threatened our very existence as a nation and as a culturally diverse, free society. Now, with over one thousand World War II veterans dying each day, our time to express our thanks to these brave men and women is running out.
It was a humbling and emotional day as I listened to amazing stories of bravery, heroism, unspeakable horrors and tragic memories that many wished they could forget. I encouraged those with whom I spoke to continue sharing their stories so that the stories aren’t ever lost or forgotten. These men and women are a true inspiration and I was honored to be able to preserve the day for them with my camera.
We are blessed to live in the greatest country in the world, but we were reminded many times on our visit that freedom isn’t free. I am grateful for the men and women who fought for our freedoms and I want to honor and thank them not just today – but every day. As President Truman said, “The debt to the heroic men and valiant women in the service of our country can never be repaid.”
For more information about Oklahoma Honor Flights, please visit their website at oklahomahonorflights.org.