NAPLES, Fla.- The Naples International Film Festival will host the east coast premiere of 'Honor Flight' on Thursday, a documentary following a group of World War Two veterans as they tour the national World War 2 memorial.
Film festival organizers say they are excited to host such a special film, especially in a place like Southwest Florida with so many veterans. Lisa Lipman, Board of Directors President for the film festival, says "it is a beautiful film. It is well made and the story is well told." She adds, "it's a wonderful time to be doing this during the political election that just celebrates how wonderful America is. It does make everybody who watches it, I think, feel proud to be an American and it's just a wonderful celebration of the human spirit."
There is a Southwest Florida chapter of Honor Flight, which takes local WW2 veterans on the free trip to our nation's capitol.
Ray Luggiero took the emotional journey in 2010. He says, "it was very touching, very heart-warming."
He says the whole trip made the veterans feel special. "Every place we went we were treated like WW2 heroes and a lot of them were heroes. When I left Naples, Florida I was 5 foot 8 inches tall, and when I came back I felt like I was 10 feet tall."
Luggiero says, "I get goosebumps every time I think of it because it meant so much to me."
He says he hadn't heard about the movie at first, but now he plans to attend the showing on Thursday, "well I think it's a hell of an idea! I was hoping someone would film it and do something like that. It will bring back a lot of memories and a lot of emotions, I'm looking forward to it."
A VIP reception will begin at 5:30 at the Naples Philharmonic, but those tickets are sold out. General admission tickets are still available for $29. For more information and tickets, visit www.thephil.org. The film begins at 7 p.m. and the ticket price also includes a question and answer session with the film's director. A local veteran who took an honor flight will also speak to the crowd. For more on the film festival, visit www.naplesfilmfest.com.