What started as a three minute clip on YouTube is now a feature length film opening to rave reviews. "Honor Flight" documents the journeys of four WWII veterans and a group of Midwest volunteers as they race against the clock to give them a trip of a lifetime.
The movie premiered locally Wednesday night to a theatre full of vets. World War II veteran Heinie Lemke was all smiles as he purchased his ticket for the show.
"The Honor Flight I think is very important...to pay and honor the veterans," Lemke told NewsChannel 7.
Ralph Buechler is also a WWII veteran. He came to the showing for two reasons. One, he wanted to see what other veteran's experiences on the Honor Flight were like. And two, he wanted his wife to see the movie since she couldn't go with him on the flight. That's exactly what organizer Jim Campbell was hoping for.
"I was hoping that those that have gone will bring their spouses and family and friends and come and see it so that they could understand the experience they had," Campbell explained.
For veterans who have never been on the Honor Flight, Campbell hopes this movie inspires them to sign up in the future.
"The number one reason they're not signing up is that they don't think they deserve it and that's really heartbreaking because they all deserve it," Campbell said.
"I think people should realize what the veterans did for our country. Really, a lot of people gave their lives...I think everybody should see it," Lemke said about the movie.
Honor flights across the nation have taken over 100,000 vets to Washington D.C. The documentary is about the Stars and Striped Honor Flights out of Milwaukee.
You can catch "Honor Flight" at the Cedar Creek Cinema through Friday. Proceeds from local ticket sales will be donated to the local Honor Flight hub, known as the Never Forgotten Honor Flight.