It seems fitting that Veterans Day falls on the weekend following Election Day. After a hotly contested election season filled with passion, it is appropriate that we collectively remember those who fought to protect our right to vote and exercise freedom of expression.
As we gather with friends and family to honor America’s veterans of all branches and all eras, it is a good time to reflect on a special group of veterans who are fading into history: Montana’s World War II veterans. Called “The Greatest Generation” by many, this group of men and women stood tall in the face of worldwide tyranny and oppression. In all, 16 million Americans served in World War II and, per capita, Montanans did more than any other state to serve the country.
As a statewide effort, Big Sky Honor Flight is working to recognize those veterans for their sacrifices and achievements by flying them to Washington, D.C. — at no cost to them — to see the World War II memorial. About 190 veterans have already made two tours for through Big Sky Honor Flight this year and another 300 veterans have applied to be a part of future trips.
Unfortunately, we are in a race against time. As the days go by, many of our aging World War II veterans pass away without getting the chance to be a part of this honor. That’s why a statewide effort is now under way to step up for them.
It costs $152,000 for one flight of veterans to Washington and we continue to raise the necessary funding for the next two, three or four flights. Schoolchildren, business leaders and civic groups have stepped up to help get these flights off the ground, but more help is needed. Any contribution, no matter how small, can help. Simply go to www.bigskyhonorflight.org, and click on the donation button.
It’s time for our World War II veterans to take one last mission. With your help, we can get them there.
Big Sky Honor Flight