Field of Honor: Thousands Set to Honor -and Make- History at Miller Park Saturday
Stars and Stripes Honor Flight Milwaukee, in cooperation with the stockholders of We Energies, will present Field of Honor: A Salute to the Greatest Generation at Miller Park this Saturday, August 11.
This amazing, once-in-a-generation event seeks to re-unite World War II veterans and to honor these men and women by showing the world premiere feature length film, “The Story of Stars and Stripes Honor Flight” on Miller Park’s high-definition video board.
The film, produced by Freethink Media, captures the stories, spirit and wisdom of living World War II veterans.
If you’re not familiar with Stars and Stripes Honor Flight (SSHF), it is a moving cause. World War II veterans are dying at the rate of 1 every 90 seconds and SSHF is in a race against the clock to honor them.
The WWII Memorial in Washington, D.C. did not open until 2004 and many veterans are unable to visit it without assistance. So that’s where SSHF comes in—it is a branch of the National Honor Flight Network that was started in Wisconsin by Port Washington resident and Alderman Joe Dean. Honor Flight offers trips to Washington, DC free of charge to WWII veterans so that they can get the opportunity to see their memorials. The national program has 110 hubs in 34 states,
SSHF has completed 14 Honor Flights to Washington, D.C. flying over 1,800 veterans from southeast Wisconsin since the fall of 2008.
All net proceeds from the event at Miller Park will ensure that Stars and Stripes Honor Flight can continue to fly veterans to Washington, D.C. to see the memorials that stand in their honor. There are currently 475 veterans on the SSHF wait list.
Filmmaker Dan Hayes was inspired to create the documentary in 2009 and collected over 100 hours of footage and stories from SSHF groups that were visiting the WWII Memorial in Washington, D.C. in the process. Watch the trailer for the film, below:
In addition to the documentary, the event will feature classic Wisconsin tailgating with veterans, World War II re-enactors, live music and a special viewing of the Pillars of Honor World War II Memorial before it goes to the Smithsonian.
Grace Weber will perform the national anthem as well as her hit single “Leave the Light On.”
Special appearances will also be made by the U.S. Navy Leap Frogs Parachute Demonstration Team and the Lima Lima Flight Demonstration Team, the world’s only original six aircraft civilian formation aerobatics team.
“This will be a spectacular, patriotic extravaganza!” said Joe Dean, Chairman of the Board for Stars and Stripes Honor Flight.
“At Honor Flight, we always do things in a big way. After our last Homecoming at Milwaukee’s Mitchell Airport drew a record capacity crowd of an estimated 7,000 people, it became obvious to us that there is a pent up desire in our community to honor these heroes. Since we have outgrown the airport, there is only one place big enough for an event like this–Miller Park!”
Speaking of record capacity, more than 30,000 people are expected to attend the Field of Honor, which would break the Guinness Book of World Records’ attendance for a film premiere. The current record is 27,022 set in Brazil in 2010 for a soccer documentary. [Note: I’m told that all people need to be seated from the start of the film to the end (through the credits) to be counted.]
I’m also told that fewer than 500 tickets remain for this even, which will bring together thousands of World War II veterans and veterans from other conflicts, their families, friends and communities.
Want to be part of history and honor it at the same time? Tickets are $11 per person. Call (414) 902-4000 or visit brewers.com/field of honor.
For a timeline of events, or more information, visit starsandstripeshonorflight.org.