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BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - May 11, 2011, will be a very important day for our Mississippi World War II veterans. On that day, an organization called Mississippi Gulf Coast Honor Flight will fly about 90 vets from that war, who live in Mississippi, to the nation's capitol.
For most, it will be their first and perhaps last opportunity, to see the memorial that honors their sacrifice, the World War II Memorial.
WLOX News recently had an opportunity to speak with two of the organizers of Mississippi Gulf Coast Honor Flight, Jodi Bowers and Wayne Lennup.
"We are what we are today, and where we are today because of these veterans; it is something that needs to be done," Bowers said.
There are Honor Flight chapters around the country, including Alabama, but this is the first in Mississippi.
Right now, Jodi and many other hard working and dedicated people are in the process of putting this trip together. Suffice to say, it is a big task.
"Every time we have met, the groups have grown; people have just responded," Wayne Lennup said. "We are learning a lot of people feel like we do, that this is something that needs to be done."
Although not affiliated with Honor Flight, you may recall the story we aired on WLOX News a few years ago, when a group of coast businesses raised the funds to send about 90 Mississippi World War II veterans to the memorial. It was an incredibly moving experience.
Honor Flight was created a few years ago to get as many vets as possible to see the memorial. Time is of the essence, since an estimated 1,000 World War II veterans are dying every day.
"There is a sense of urgency that we need to do this now, before it is too late," Bowers said.
To make this trip happen, Honor Flight needs more volunteers and money. The price tag for the trip is about $80,000.
"We have our maiden flight right around the corner, and anything anybody can do to help would be so appreciated by all the vets," Bowers said.
Organizers are convinced that Mississippi Gulf Coast Honor Flight will head to Washington in early May. Lennep pointed out that they have clearly seen how the people of this state are determined to get behind this program.
Again, the date is May 11th, and if you would like any more information, you can contact Mississippi Gulf Coast Honor Flight at email@example.com.
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