about the film
The documentary follows a Midwest community coming together to show their thanks to living World War II veterans before it’s too late. The volunteers race against the clock to fly every local WWII veteran to the WWII memorial in Washington, DC. The trips are called “Honor Flights” and for the all-but-forgotten veterans, who are in their late 80s and early 90s, it’s often the first time they’ve been thanked and the last trip of their lives. The day is full of surprises that deeply move the veterans and volunteers alike.
The story focuses on four veterans, including Joe Demler who, upon his liberation from a German POW camp, was chronicled in Life magazine as “the Human Skeleton.” He weighed just 70 lbs. The film also features veteran Harvey Kurz, who bags groceries at a local Pick n’ Save and saw the iconic flag go up at Iwo Jima, as well as the story of Orville Lemke, whose nine sons and daughters rush to get him on the trip as he fights terminal cancer.
As the Honor Flight trip unfolds, Joe, Harvey, Orville and others share their war stories and wisdom on life and freedom.
The film premiered at Miller Park in Milwaukee and broke the Guinness World Record for largest attendance at a film screening with 28,442 people in attendance.