When the National World War II Memorial opened to the public in 2004, Earl Morse, a VA employee and Air Force Veteran working in a clinic in Ohio, asked his World War II patients if they would make the trip to Washington, D.C. to visit the memorial in person.

Many said they would like to see it, but financial and health constraints kept many of them from making the long journey to Washington. Earl offered to fly a WWII Veteran out himself, and after a few successful trips, he created a network of private pilots that would do the same. The Honor Flight Network was born, and since then, 81,000 Veterans of WWII, Korea, and Vietnam have flown to Washington free of charge to visit the memorials built in their honor and memory.

It’s a race against time. Over 600 WWII Veterans pass away each day.

This year, these Veterans will be recognized in a special event on December 7—the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. World War II Veterans will visit their memorial and place a wreath there at 1:53 PM, the time the attack took place on December 7, 1941. At 4 PM, the Veterans will gather at the Daughters of the American Revolution Constitution Hall for a reception and dinner, followed by the screening of the documentary Honor Flight. Check out the trailer here.

Tickets to the film screening are free, so sign up now if you want to make it. The film begins at 6 PM at the DAR Constitution Hall, 1776 D St, NW, Washington, DC, 20006.

If you can’t make it, we’ll be on the ground to document the unforgettable experience.

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Published on Dec. 5, 2012

Estimated reading time is 1.4 min.

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  1. Paul Carter December 8, 2012 at 10:43 am

    Earl Morse and hisTeam of Volunteers of Honor Flight have did a great job for all our Veterans…..With the trips to all the WW II Memorials in Washington, DC……My wife and I have been involved with 3 Flights….as guardians…Which was very heartwarming as well as very emotional…..

  2. Ed Ball December 6, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    Often overlooked due to the International Date Line, is:
    8 Dec 1941 Japanese Navy 11th Air Fleet land-based aircraft from Taiwan attacked US Army airfields on Luzon island, Philippine Islands as well as shipping in Manila Bay; at the latter location, American freighter Capillo was abandoned after receiving heavy damage. Japanese Army aircraft joined in on the attack on this date also, striking Baguio and Tuguegarao at 0930 hours. North of Luzon, a Japanese force landed on Batan Island and established an air base.

    History shows us that the Philippines was to be attacked at the same time as Pearl Harbor, but due to heavy fog and inclement weather, the Japanese aircraft were delayed a few hours. When the word spread of the bombing in Pearl Harbor, aircraft were launched from Clark AB hoping to engage the would be attackers, but none were found. U.S. aircraft returned to Clark AB and after a few hours the Japanese found them easy targets on the tarmac.

    My father in law, was but a small boy in Iba, Zambales, Philippines and vividly recalls the attack being made on Clark by the Japanese. All the children jumped for joy as some of the U.S. aircraft were able to get airborne and engage their attackers, eventually forcing the Japanese to return to their ships at sea.

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