By Tracy Moore,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Moving docu about WWII veterans is emotionally intense.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Remembering and respecting veterans, the value of history, volunteering, appreciating life, honoring military service, and respecting your elders.
Positive Role Models
Heroes and veterans are featured, as are passionate volunteers and devoted family members who donate time and energy to help veterans get closure on their service in WWII and who care deeply about remembering these stories before this population dies out.
Violence & Scariness
Graphic images of bombings, explosions, and other WWII footage. Some black-and-white shots of surgical footage. Some graphic discussions of "sawing off limbs" or "stitching people up," as well as some hospital scenes of modern-day terminally ill veterans. We repeatedly see a photo of a starved but living hostage in a Nazi concentration camp.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Honor Flight features significant grainy footage of WWII, including bombings, wounds being tended in field hospitals, and some graphic descriptions of the horrors of war, as well as a recurring photo of a starved (but alive) man in a Nazi concentration camp. It shows modern-day, terminally ill vets in hospital settings and has several intense emotional scenes about death, nostalgia, and heroism. There's some historical context regarding the importance of different battles, but the focus is largely on the lives of the living veterans, their families, and their desire to see the D.C. memorial before they die.
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What's the Story?
A Midwestern community of volunteers aids World War II veterans, often in their 80s and 90s, and many with terminal illnesses, in seeing the new memorial built in their honor in D.C. before they pass away.
Is It Any Good?
HONOR FLIGHT is a moving documentary about the work that can be done when a group of passionate people work toward a common goal. In this case, the goal is simple: Help WWII veterans, who die at the rate of 900 a day at the time of the documentary's filming, visit a WWII memorial in their honor before they pass away. For kids interested in history, this puts a very human touch on a distant war. These are living veterans discussing their memories of losing friends and fellow soldiers to battle, surrounded by their loved ones today who want to show respect for their service. There are some good context discussions of important battles, but the main focus of the documentary is the way a community came together to provide this service, free of cost, and must race against time to extend the offer to terminally ill veterans who sometimes are in no shape to travel. Better for older kids due to the emotional intensity, but, for those mature enough, it provides a compelling picture of families mobilizing to give closure to a generation that's expected to be gone entirely within the next 20 years.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about why it's important to hear the stories of our veterans. Why do you think these stories matter so much? What can we do to make sure these stories aren't forgotten?
How can we help show appreciation for military service members? How does your family celebrate military service?
Why do you think it was so important for the veterans to see the memorial in D.C.?
- On DVD or streaming: June 4, 2014
- Director: Dan Hayes
- Studio: Vivendi
- Genre: Documentary
- Topics: History
- Run time: 82 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- Last updated: February 26, 2022
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