Yesterday's Magazette

4 – The Good Fight

Those Who Fought The Good Fight

By Linda Masek

The war to end all wars. As a child growing up in the 1950’s, I remember the adults in my life using this saying to describe the period of time between 1914-1918 (World War I). However, it wasn’t the end of war or of conflict, since the problems from these four years carried over into the following decades. Ultimately these problems led to World War II, when the entire world was engaged in fighting on the European front, in the South Pacific, the Middle East and places I’d never even heard of and had to check out in my geography class at school. And after World War II, my entire generation, the “Baby Boomers” listened in awestruck silence to the stories of those brave men and women, our veterans, who made the world safe for democracy and rescued freedom.

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My family lived in Parma, Ohio, and I saw the soldiers when they came home, one boy, not much older than I, who endlessly walked the streets with wide, staring eyes as though running from some unseen enemy who still pursued him, though in reality was likely long dead.

“Freedom isn’t free” was the slogan heard everywhere. It is only now that I can really understand exactly what the saying means, that the hardships endured, trials sustained and even overcome, happened because of the brave veterans who “Fought the good fight” and won.

Dwight Eisenhower was the first president I can remember (1952-1960), but he had another whole career as a general in World War II. He was only one of many men actively involved in the conflict; the names I learned about at school- the Normandy Landing, Coral Sea, Midway, Guadalcanal, D-Day were all a part of the great conflagration that led to the United States and its allies winning the war.

Because our country owes so much to these stouthearted men and women abroad and on the homefront, a program called Honor Flight was created in 2005.

Earl Morse was the man whose inspiration was responsible for this nonprofit program. A physicians’ assistant in Springfield, Ohio, Morse worked with veterans in his job. As a retired Air Force officer, he heard time and again about how these men and women would like nothing better than to fly to Washington, D.C. and see the memorials created in their honor as veterans. Morse listened and initiated the first Honor Flight that same year.

As other pilots and volunteers offered their services, the idea spread to all fifty states. Each state has numerous hubs where the all-day expeditions are organized. Veterans are flown to the Capital to see the World War II Memorial, Vietnam Memorial, Iwo Jima, Arlington Cemetery and others. All meals and transportation are provided at no charge. At the end of the day the veterans are returned to their home hub. Veterans describing their experience relate how wonderful everything was and “they did everything for us the entire day”, making the time very special for our soldiers and the “experience of a lifetime” on Honor Flight.

For those interested in more information or an application, please call or check the website at http://www.honorflight.org or 937-521-2400. Our veterans will thank you as our country seeks to thank them for their service to honor and defend our nation.

Vol. 39 – Copyright © Yesterday’s Magazette – 2012

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