Honor Flight, Mission Accomplished

Written by David DiCrescenzo on . Posted in Florida News

Once again a memorable evening spent with some of America’s Greatest Generation.  They are dwindling in numbers these amazing men and women, but they still stand tall and walk proud.  

On Saturday, October 25, 2014, the Southeast Florida Honor Flight paid tribute once again to these brave men and women who went off to war to defend our nation.  WWII ended 69 years ago and a lot of them didn’t come back, but for every one of them that did, they have the opportunity to get up very early in the morning and fly to DC for a day.  

During an emotional and event packed day, they visit Arlington National Cemetery, the WWII Memorial, and several other venues.  There is the air of renewed camaraderie, solemn remembrances, gratitude, and so much more.  Everywhere they go, they are given the Red Carpet treatment that they so richly deserve.  Keep in mind, it isn’t easy on these guys and gals…they’re not kids anymore.  Every one of them is in their late 80’s and early 90’s.

When I stand along the sidelines as these heroes pass by, some walking, some in wheelchairs, I am humbled to have the chance to shake their hands.  I know that for every one of them that I do get to shake hands with, I am also shaking the hands of the spirits of those who sacrificed everything on battlefields like Remagen, The Bulge, Omaha Beach, Anzio, Bataan, Iwo Jima, Midway, and so many other battles, as well as those that have passed away since; they are all present.  Those spirits followed them all day long and they are being honored as well. 

As always, many hundreds of onlookers and well-wishers were on hand to greet them.  Boy scouts, military cadets, veterans from other wars, family members, and an entire community of people who understand that these men and women deserve our undying admiration and respect.

Among those in attendance were David Reback and his family of, count them, 15 children; two of which had the honor of escorting our heroes on the Flight.  I had the chance to chat with Mr. Reback for a few minutes, and while our conversation was very casual, there was no mistaking his emotion for the day, and the pride of having his daughters be a part of the event.  And that level of emotion and gratitude is all that can be asked for.

I don’t know how many more such events will take place, but I just hope and pray that all of our remaining WWII Vets get a chance to enjoy one of these very memorable days.  God bless them and keep them safe.  

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Honoring the Greatest Generation in Palm Beach

Written by David DiCrescenzo on . Posted in Florida News

Honor, pride, joy, tears, Patriotism….those were just a few of the emotions that were on display last evening at the Southeast Florida Honor Flight Operation Homecoming at PBIA.

No fewer than 1300 supporters, from Boy Scouts to current and former military personnel, moms and dads, newborns to adolescents, grandmothers and grandfathers; they came out to honor our WWII Veterans, to welcome them home, shake their hands, hug them, wish them well, and share a tear with them. 

I so wish that we could bottle the spirit and the emotion that is always in the air during these flights.  If there was only a way to make a potion or a pill that we could all take every day, (especially our youth) to remind us not only of what these amazing men and women, our Greatest Generation, did, but just as importantly…WHY?

Look into the faces of any junior or senior in High School, or anyone just starting college, and you’ll see the same hopes and dreams that these guys had but were willing to risk to serve the country they loved.  They knew that we faced a monstrous enemy, the likes of which was unimaginable, and hasn’t been seen again until 'recently.’  They knew in their heart of hearts that it was up to them to stop that enemy on two fronts so that maybe those who survived could live out their lives in at least some sort of peace and normalcy.

Ask any of them what concerns them and I’m certain the answer might be that too many have lost the resolve to do what they rose to do, and many have just simply been dumbed down and/or sissified to step up to the even more deadly threat we face today.  

While no one would never ask these ancient warriors to take up arms again, I would bet every last one of them would do so in a heartbeat, and I know most of us that understand what needed to be done as they did and still do, would stand with them.  

God bless these heroes and all of our men and women who have served and are still serving. We owe them a debt that can never be repaid.  However we could sure as hell start by changing the course we are on, elect real leaders, and reject the liberal thinking that has and is destroying what they sacrificed so much for. 

 

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Hamas in Miami threatening Americans/Jews

Written by The United West on . Posted in Florida News

Publisher’s note:  A lot of people would deny that we in America are seeing a growing problem with jihadi’s, CAIR, and all of those associated with it.  The United West travels around the United States and the world warning about and exposing this rapid encroachment.  The following recent video was shot in Miami, FL.  Please watch this important footage to the very end.  To learn more about The United West and the important work they do, click here.

The United West…  

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WWII Veterans Honored on 70th Anniversary of D-Day

Written by David DiCrescenzo on . Posted in Florida News

As an American Patriot, I can’t think of anything better to do on a Saturday evening than to welcome home our veterans. Whether they are returning from a recent deployment in the middle-east or from a special trip to DC and Virginia to remember their fallen comrades from past wars, it is heart-warming to see their faces light up when they come up the ramp from the terminal and see the cheering crowds of those on hand to welcome them.

Such was the case Saturday night at Palm Beach International Airport as upwards of 3500 cheering men, women, and children; Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, family members, members of the Knights of Columbus, Bag Pipers, ROTC Cadets, current and former members of the Military, and so many more all showed up to say “thank you” to 94 members of ‘The Greatest Generation’ as they came home on an Honor Flight.  

On Thursday morning, they departed from PBI to attend the ceremonies commemorating the 70th Anniversary of the D-Day invasion of the Allied Forces into Europe, which led to victory over the Nazis less than a year later.  The Honor Flights are always very special, however this particular one, a two day event, was even more so.  

After two days of visiting places like Arlington National Cemetery, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and of course the World War II Memorial, and being treated like the returning heroes they are all around the town, they came home.  The individual stories of the past two days are countless.  I talked to a few of them; guys like Joe Garber who told me about all the autographs he and they signed and how he had been a POW during the last year of the war, about all the thanks they received, the photos they took, and the hospitality.  I heard of another story, which I’ll be following up on soon concerning the passing of a very special jacket.  There was so much more.  However, the real story of tonight was the final surprise for these men.

They didn’t know was what waited for them in the terminal.  You see, few of them are aware of the greeting they have in store.  They don’t know that so many people are waiting to cheer for them, hug them, shake their hands, and just thank them for a job well done.  As they came down the hall, some in wheel chairs, others walking, and every one of them just reaching out to as many as they could, throwing kisses to the crowd while shedding tears of joy….lots of them.  

For the most part, these veterans, many of them survivors of that fateful day, were just scared kids barely out of High School in 1944; some of them probably didn’t even shave yet, but they answered the call and did what they had to do, so that we could have the chance to do what we all do.  They became battle hardened men that day, and they carried home the impossible to forget memories of fallen comrades and the hellish nightmares of war.

Sometimes it becomes impossible as a reporter to simply take notes and scribe what I see, and not get caught up in the moment.  I love these guys, and I fully understand that if not for what they did at that crucial moment in our history; if they hadn’t risked their very lives and run toward the gunfire on our behalf, if they hadn’t been successful, the freedoms we enjoy would have come to an end and instead of being our ‘Greatest Generation,’ they would have been our final generation.  We can never adequately repay them.  God bless them one and all.

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WWII Vets honored at PBI

Written by David DiCrescenzo on . Posted in Florida News

It doesn’t get much better for Palm Beach International Airport than when they become host to a Southeast Florida Honor Flight for our Veterans.  This past Saturday was one of those days. In the wee hours of the morning, eighty-two WWII Veterans got up extra early and made their way to PBI with their guardians for the day to take part on such a flight with the Southeast Florida Honor Flights.  

In case you haven’t heard about it, Honor Flights are being conducted around the country to escort our Veterans of WWII; and as soon as possible, Veterans from Korea and Vietnam will be so honored at their respective War Memorials in Washington DC.  Every effort is made to contact all of these heroes and get them to and from the airports and around DC, and finally back home; and it is done so that they have a great time and a memory they’ll never forget. 

For the most part, except for a handful of well-wishers, the terminal was empty when these men and women departed for DC at O Dark Thirty on Saturday morning.

It’s a hectic day of travel; they flew to DC, visited the WWII Memorial, Iwo Jima Memorial, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and Arlington National Cemetery, had a nice lunch, and then headed back to the airport for the flight home.  And that’s when it really gets good; you see, few, if any of them are aware of what awaits them upon arrival at the airport.  The plane is greeted with a Fire Truck escort and crosses under an arch of water from the hoses.  

Once at the gate, everyone is carefully and gently deplaned and ‘stalled’ so that they can all head up the terminal together.  That’s when they start seeing what’s waiting for them at the turn.  As this short video courtesy of the PB Hogs shows, first the bagpipes fall in line in front of them, led by a PBSO Trike with lights a blazing.  The moment they turn into the main part of the terminal, they are greeted by the cheers, handshakes, hugs, and singing of the over 2000 Patriots that came out to welcome them home.  

While we were waiting for them to come up the aisle, I had the chance to chat with a few of those who came out; one of them Mr. Norman Cabana was on the last Honor Flight and was proud to now be on the welcoming end.  When the Vets came up the ramp, nothing but tears of joy, the A Cappella tunes of the ‘Sunsation’ Quartet, laughter, and the warmth of what makes America great filled the terminal from one end to the other, and it was indeed a day no one involved will ever forget. 

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