Hospice of Southern Illinois joined the We Honor Veterans program not knowing how we could better serve the veteran population. Yesterday was the perfect example of why we became a partner and how to show appreciation to Veterans who have served this country. In honor of National Hospice Month and Veteran’s Day, Hospice of Southern Illinois sponsored Honor Flight The Movie. Honor Flight The Movie, a heartwarming documentary about living WWII Veterans who were privileged to go to the WWII memorial at no cost due to efforts by the Honor Flight Network, is undefined by words.
Not only did we show the movie, but also so many organizations and companies came together to make this a day to remember with lots of pomp and circumstance. Veterans, admitted into the movie at no cost thanks to the Veteran Corps of America, were escorted on a red carpet by ROTC members and Hospice of Southern Illinois' volunteers. They were then provided free popcorn and soda due to generous donations. Finally, they were greeted as they entered the Wehrenberg O’Fallon 15 Cine theater. They attended a powerful ceremony filled with special guests, patriotic music, and celebrations of each branch of service (click here to watch a clip). After the ceremony, Honor Flight The Movie played, which to describe in words was emotional, triumphant, and epic. Our hearts melted for every Veteran and their family who stood in front of us that day and who we have known or lost throughout the years.
(Honoring the Branches of Service)
(Left: Our own Kim Oplet, Marine and Hospice of Southern Illinois Employee. Right: ROTC Color Guard)
(Last photo before the movie started.)
Several said, “It was the best movie I have ever seen!” A Veteran shared, “I went on the Honor Flight. This movie was…(pause with a big smile) just like I remembered it.” Others only locked eyes and no words were needed. We feel this event was the perfect celebration and educational opportunity we could have offered as a commitment to the We Honor Veterans program.
A special thank you to all the Veterans, donors, volunteers and attendees who made the day possible. It was a big day and for those Veterans who won’t or can’t attend the WWII memorial in Washington D.C., we hope we made this day as special to you as it was to give it. As Joe Delmer, WWII Veteran, put it, “Every day is a bonus.” Let this be a reminder of why we celebrate Veterans Day and all the sacrifices that were made because freedom is never free.
For more photos from the day click here. For information how to apply to get on an Honor Flight, become a guardian, or make a donation visit: http://www.honorflight.org/faq/. To support Hospice of Southern Illinois' efforts to provide end-of-life care to Veterans in your community, contact our development team at 1-800-233-1708.
Happy Veterans Day from Hospice of Southern Illinois