By Garrett Estrada
Ely Times Staff Writer
Finding closure is something that can take years to happen. For five World War II veterans from Ely, it has taken close to 70. The Honor Flight of Southern Nevada will take off toward the nation’s capital on Friday, flying 54 total Nevada WWII veterans to take them to visit the memorial that was built in their honor.
Board Member and Trainer for the Honor Flight Bryan McGill will be leading the trip, his second, and he knows just how emotionally powerful it can be to let the veterans finally have a chance to come full circle on the war.
“It is worth its weight in gold,” McGill said. “It is huge for these guys. It will break a grown man down and make you cry.”
The World War II memorial wasn’t completed until 2004, and many of the nation’s remaining veterans from one of the most deadly wars in the world’s history won’t ever get a chance to see the structure that was built to remember them and their fallen bretheren. It is something that McGill and his team at the Honor Flight want to fix.
“When you see theses guys, it was close to 70 years ago for them and they never got the kind of ‘thank you’s’ they deserved when they returned home. They just went back to home,” McGill continued. “For them to have this kind of chance at closure, it’s something they don’t get to talk about very much. It is very powerful.”
It is a mission that has a ticking clock. As of 2010, according to www.examiner.com, World War II veterans are passing away at a rate of over 1,000 a day, and expect to be completely gone by the year 2020.