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Film to Raise Funds for North Country Honor Flight

The North Country Honor Flight will sponsor a showing of the film, “Honor Flight: One Last Mission,” Saturday, April 6 beginning at 7 p.m. in E. Glenn Giltz Auditorium, Hawkins Hall on the SUNY Plattsburgh campus.

The film, a documentary about a group of World War II veterans and community members who work to fly thousands of vets to Washington, D.C., to see the memorial constructed for them in 2004, will be shown following an introduction of North Country WWII veterans.

Daniel Kaifetz, director of the recently formed North Country Honor Flight division, said Saturday night’s showing is to help raise funds for local veterans who will be flown to the memorial over the next several months.

“So far, Honor Flight has flown 114,000 World War II vets to their memorial in D.C.,” Kaifetz said. “Our goal is to get them all there — at no charge to them. We raise money through fundraisers like this.” Kaifetz said some of the 32 veterans he’s signed up from the North Country will be flown in May, June, and again in September and October.

“I hope to get all 32 on stage Saturday night to be recognized,” he said. The veterans will be escorted by students in the SUNY Plattsburgh Army ROTC and military studies program.

Kaifetz said the time is drawing short on World War II vets — survivors would now be in their late 80s and 90s. The film discusses how the country loses 1,000 vets a day.

“Many of those still around were 15, 16 when they went to war,” Kaifetz said. “They came home and returned to their lives, never talking about the horrors they experienced over there. These honor flights are important because they not only get our veterans together at the memorial where their stories are shared, but they also facilitate cross-generational military respect. When we arrive at the airport, the crowds that greet us are amazing. These vets are the greatest heroes of our active duty servicemen and women.”

After a brief introduction, the ROTC students will escort the veterans to their seats for the showing of the film. After the film, the veterans and audience members will be invited outside to the flagpole in front of Hawkins for a flag lowering to Taps, performed by SUNY Plattsburgh maintenance worker William Long.

“It will be a tremendously touching evening,” Kaifetz said. “I guarantee after the film and the introduction of our World War II veterans, there won’t be a dry eye in the house.”

Tickets to Saturday’s event are $6 adults, $3 under 16 and are available at the Angell College Center desk or through northcountryhonorflight.org. For more information, contact Kaifetz at 834-9901.

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