Honor, Respect, Remembrances

Mary Davidsaver
State Rep. Don Moffitt (left) shakes hands with George Wilson of Galva, a World War II veteran at Sunday’s Honor Flight Benefit in Bishop Hill. Both men spoke at the event.

Bishop Hill celebrated Flag Day on Sunday in true red, white and blue style: Full-sized flags surrounded its park and smaller flags were offered along with BBQ ribs and potato salad.

Signs, booths and nearly every person there sported something that evoked the patriotic theme of the day.

The event - a benefit to help raise funds to send area veterans on Honor Flights - drew a large and diverse crowd.

Mike Funke, mayor of Bishop Hill, welcomed everyone on behalf of the village. Jack Down of rural Bishop Hill sang the National Anthem before Funke introduced State Rep. Don Moffitt, the first speaker of the afternoon.

Moffitt thanked the organizers of the benefit for their commitment. He also thanked the Patriot Guard Riders and noted that they had been there for every fallen soldier.

He asked the veterans to stand. As they stood, some needing a little help, Moffitt gave them all the long overdue “thank you” they deserved.

“Tom Brokaw got it right,” Moffitt stated as he referred to the book The Greatest Generation. “The title is earned and it fits.”

“These are ordinary people who did extraordinary things,” Moffitt continued, “Americans who loved freedom more than they hated war.”

George Wilson, a World War II veteran from Galva, spoke of being one of the “younger” vets.

“I was there for the Berlin airlift. The food and coal that was flown in saved the city as a capital,” he remembered.

For more of this story, see the June 18 Galva News.