Seventy years ago today, Allied troops stormed the beaches of Normandy to start the process of taking back Europe from the Nazi. Also, 100 years ago was the start of World War I, the war to end all wars. In both of these cases, members of the U.S. Armed Forces sacrifice their body and their lives to protect the freedoms that we enjoy today. The Honor Flight Program is one way that we can thank our veterans for the sacrifices they have made. If you have the opportunity, please come out to Bishop Hill’s Honor Flight Benefit this Sunday to support this wonderful program. Details about this event are described below:
Honor Flight returns to Bishop Hill Sunday, June 8th, 3-7 p.m. with the community raising funds to send area veterans to Washington, D.C. Fortunate veterans who are chosen will visit memorials dedicated to honoring their sacrifices.
In the last five years, the community has raised more than $50,000 for the Quad Cities Chapter of the Honor Flight Network. Area veterans will be provided with a free trip to visit their memorial with priority given to survivors of World War II, Korean War, and any veteran with a terminal illness. Honor Flight Quad Cities operates on donations from organizations and individuals. Representatives from the Honor Flight organization will be there to answer questions and to accept applications.
The schedule begins with the Barbecue Rib dinner at 3 p.m. in the village park. At 3:30 pm, the Illinois Patriot Guard and Legion Riders will arrive, after completing the Schuyler Patch Memorial Ride; at 4 pm, there will be an Invocation and then the Presentation of Colors by area VFW and American Legion groups. There will be several speakers, including Representative Donald L. Moffitt from the 74th District and an Honor Flight representative. Shelley Kinzer of Bishop Hill will be providing patriotic music. Local Bishop Hill story teller Brian “Fox” Ellis will also perform. Live auction provided by Stenzel Auction Service. Auction items include an official Chicago Blackhawks puck, a signed Chicago Bears print as well as locally made quilts, pottery, and other items. Special military display provided by the Galva American Legion. There will be a military retreat at 1800 hours exactly (6 pm) with a 21 gun salute and taps. Golf cart shuttle services, provided by Cambridge Cart, are provided from the edge of the park. For more information call 927-3355.
In addition, a traveling exhibit will be on display at the Bishop Hill State Museum. The Portrait of a Soldier exhibit is a traveling display of hand-sketched portraits of fallen service members from Illinois who have been killed since September 11, 2001 in the Global War on Terror. Artist Cameron Schilling, of Mattoon, drew the first portrait in August 2004, after Army SPC Charles Neeley, also of Mattoon, was killed in Iraq. Schilling gave the sketch to SPC Neeley’s parents to convey his sympathy for their loss. In October 2005, while a student at Eastern Illinois University, Schilling decided to draw a portrait of every Illinois service member who has fallen during the Global War on Terror.
The Honor Flight Benefit will feature a Barbcue Rib dinner with potato salad and all the fixins prepared by the Filling Station Restaurant and the Bishop Hill Community Club. Serving will begin at 3 p.m. and will be held in the village park. Seating is available but be sure to bring lawn chairs.
Planned activities also include a live auction. Auction items still are needed! Call Linda Spring at (309) 927-3355.
The benefit is being organized by the Filling Station Restaurant. All proceeds from the day’s events will be donated to Honor Flight of the Quad Cities. If anyone wishes to make a donation, volunteer, or need more information call the above number.