As the adage goes, "All gave some, some gave all."
Community residents came out to pay tribute to veterans and enjoy the entertaining and informative documentary "Honor Flight: One Last Mission" at Elkins Cinema 8 on Monday and Tuesday.
The film chronicles the journey of a small Wisconsin community to get veterans involved in the Honor Flight program, a one-day journey for veterans to visit many of the monuments to the servicemen and women in Washington, D.C., including the World War II Memorial, the Korean War Memorial and Arlington Cemetery. The film centers the story around a handful of veterans and their individual stories.
The Inter-Mountain photo by Chad Clem
Roberta Gray, an active member of the Army Reserve, thanks David DeNitto, a World War II veteran for his service at Tuesday’s showing of the ‘Honor Flight’ documentary in Elkins. DeNitto had the opportunity to go on an Honor Flight trip and visit Washington D.C.’s monuments dedicated to service veterans.
The film was sponsored by Mountain Hospice and was free to the public due to donations by the Veterans of Foreign Wars 3647 Ladies Auxiliary and Davis & Elkins College, which paid the licensing fees for the film.
"This would not be possible without the help of all of these organizations and volunteers," said Shannon Putnam, Mountain Hospice's director of development. "Their hard work and dedication is necessary to make this possible and we are grateful for it."
After the showings, the audience showed their gratitude to the veterans by shaking their hands and handing out gift bags containing pins, brochures and information on how to sign up for the Honor Flight program.
"We are doing our best to let these guys know that we appreciate everything they have done for us," Putnam said.
Even Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., showed his appreciation for veterans and the event.
"It is important that we take time every day to be thankful for our veterans, as well as our friends and family currently serving in the military, and to pray for their safety," Manchin said in a statement read as part of the introduction for the showings. "Indeed, they deserve our most sincere admiration for their unwavering commitment to our great nation They provide an irreplaceable service to our great state and nation and forever deserve the recognition they receive."
The veterans were not shy about showing their appreciation for the event as well, including David DeNitto, a World War II veteran who had the opportunity to go on an Honor Flight event a few years ago.
"Every bit of what you see in the movie is true," DeNitto said. "It's a truly amazing experience. It brings back so many memories. It brought tears to my eyes."
Phil Ware, a former Randolph County sheriff and a World War II veteran, said he enjoyed the film quite a bit.
Staff Sgt. Sean Sullivan, an active duty member of the National Guard, said, "This film signifies why I wear this uniform. Because of what these men have done, it allows a new generation of men and women to step into those roles."
Putnam said the showings and the volunteer efforts were greatly appreciated.
"This has been a rousing success," she said. "It would be great to find a way to give as many of the veterans in our area as possible the opportunity to go on an Honor Flight."