HBO, Spielberg, Hanks and Dole at WWII Memorial

Four hundred WWII Veterans and their guardians followed by Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg, Senator Elizabeth Dole and a cast of celebrities, dignitaries, and military leaders were lead by bagpiper Jeff Burton into the main Plaza of the WWII Memorial this past Thursday.  The only person missing was Senator Robert Dole who I have on some authority is recuperating and preparing himself for the Spring season.  In preparation for the premier of “The Pacific”, Joanna Scholl of HBO had several months ago approached Honor Flight about putting together a “bit of a ceremony!”  In the end, 400 veterans and their guardians were flown free on specially designated American Airlines planes and Jeff Miller and Earl Morse ended up traveling to six airports in one day.  The Crystal Gateway Marriott was where everyone stayed.

HBO, Honor Flight, WWII Memorial It was enough to make a grown man cry and there was a lot of weeping going on as our Veterans proceeded to their chairs and listened to Spielberg, Hanks and Mrs. Dole speak on the importance of their service.  I had center stage and you can find two thousand images online.  I had the good fortune to work with Civic Entertainment which ironed out every single possible detail including extra security, hotels, airfare, arrivals.  If you weren’t subscribing to HBO, drop a dime and get your subscription.  They rock and they certainly brought Honor Flight and the WWII Memorial to the public’s attention.

HBO, Honor Flight, WWII Memorial
Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg along with Senator Dole were able to mix with the veterans with great ease and it was obvious that everyone had a great time.  The first episode was screened later in the evening at the hotel and seemed to be well-received by the WWII veterans, all of whom had fought in the Pacific.

Honor Flight  Alaina Carter and her crew had arranged for probably a thousand people at the three arrivals from various airports across the country. American Airlines and Reagan National Airport staff honored the veterans not only with bands and well-wishers but the “power wash”, an impressive spray from two fire engines as the plane enters the gate area.

The volunteers for arrivals stretched down the American Terminal hallway out through security to the waiting buses. Lindsay Weiss and the crew of Civic Entertainment went to amazing lengths to ensure perfection and achieved it throughout the three days.  I doubt they slept throughout the three day period.  Closing this rather lengthy post out are a couple of pictures of the “greeters”!

HBO, Honor Flight, WWII Memorial

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