Public, veterans urged to see ‘Honor Flight’ film Saturday in Lebanon

Sean C. Morgan

Jay Burcham would like to see Lebanon and Sweet Home residents to show up Saturday, May 25, and applaud World War II veterans outside of the River Center in Lebanon following a presentation of the documentary “Honor Flight: One Last Mission.”

The public also is invited to purchase tickets to the screening. The cost is $10, with proceeds going directly to the Honor Flight program.

“This generation five to 10 years from now will be gone,” said Burcham, who owns Burcham’s Metals in Albany. “Many came back from the war and never talked about their experiences very much.”

They do in this documentary, Burcham said, and it’s an opportunity for younger generations to learn more about their history, “the sacrifices these old guys made for us.”

Burcham said his father-in-law, the late Mack Ashby of Albany, served in the Pacific Theater. He was able to join him at a reunion in Branson, Mo. Many other World War II veterans are not able to go to reunions like this or take the Honor Flight.

This film is almost like going, he said. The film will run at 1 p.m. following a presentation of the colors by the American Legion. Afterward, the color guard will retire the colors. Outside the River Center will be two restored World War II Jeeps and 30 American flags.

Burcham hopes to see a Lebanon-Sweet Home crowd, especially high school-aged students, outside to greet and cheer the veterans after the film, to thank them for the freedoms they enjoy.

“It’s a way of honoring these folks, to show our love, respect and admiration for how they served us,” he said.

The film follows a group of World War II veterans on an Honor Flight from Wisconsin to Washington, D.C., where they are treated as honored guests while visiting the World War II Memorial and other activities.

Burcham said a show scheduled for May 18 at the Pix Theater in Albany was sold out.

“For those that don’t attend, I just urge them to take 15 minutes, 30 minutes out of the day,” Burcham said. The documentary will finish, and veterans will head outside at around 2:40 p.m.

“It would be so neat to have members of our community to be outside, and when these folks come out of the building simply applaud.”

Tickets are on sale at Burcham’s Metals, Inc., 3407 Pacific Blvd., Albany; the Pix Theater, 321 Second Ave., Albany; and the Lebanon Area Chamber of Commerce, 1040 S. Park St., Lebanon.