Salute to Veterans
WSRE salutes those who have served our country in the armed services,
as well as those who wear the uniform and defend our country today.
|Medal of Honor||Gulf Coast War Memories|
|Connecting the Community: Honor Flight|
|Khaki Coast: How the Panhandle Helped Win WWII|
|The Pensacola Veterans Memorial Park|
Veterans Day, officially observed on 11/11, is a date that our nation sets aside to celebrate and honor America's veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good. WSRE has programs to honor those who have served our country in the armed services, as well as those who wear the uniform and defend our country today. Foremost among these programs is a WSRE original documentary, featuring a local landmark that is near and dear to the hearts of many in our region — the Pensacola Veterans Memorial Park. This program, narrated by local historian John Appleyard and former Congressman Earl Hutto, details the history of the park and shares a glimpse of the deep meaning and significance it holds to the citizens of the Gulf Coast.
Medal of Honor tells the story of a group of individuals — both living and deceased — who have been awarded our nation's highest decoration for valor in combat — the Medal of Honor. This program shares the incredible stories of courage, valor and heroism, including that of Col. George "Bud" Day," an Air Force fighter pilot from Shalimar, Florida who served tours of duty during WWII, Korea and Vietnam. Col. Day's jet was shot down over North Vietnam in 1967, resulting in his capture by the Vietnamese and a five year imprisonment, including time at the Hanoi Hilton, where he shared a cell with Senator John McCain. Col Day's heroism and leadership as a prisoner of war was the impetus for Day being awarded the Medal of Honor. Medal of Honor will air on WSRE, sponsored by the Hurlburt and Eglin chapters of the Air Force Association, the Air Force Armament Museum and the Emerald Coast Military Affairs Council, as a tribute to Col. Day.
Ken Burns' epic documentary about WWII, The War, explores the history and the horror of the Second World War, as seen through the eyes of those who served, told in their own words. As a companion to this national documentary, WSRE produced two local documentaries that focused on WWII. Khaki Coast: How the Panhandle Helped Win WWII chronicles the contributions that the five major military bases in the Florida Panhandle made to help win WWII. Gulf Coast War Memories, a WSRE original documentary, shares the nostalgic, painful and sometimes tragic memories of local WWII veterans.
As a part of our continuing effort to pay tribute to WWII veterans from the Gulf Coast area, WSRE participated in the second trip of Emerald Coast Honor Flight. A special edition of Connecting the Community: Emerald Coast Honor Flight was produced with guests and highlights from the October 2008 trip, which escorted 103 Northwest Florida WWII veterans to see the WWII Memorial in Washington D.C. WSRE's original documentary, Honor Flight: A Journey of Heroes chronicles the April 30, 2008 inaugural trip of Emerald Coast Honor Flight, is now available to view online at wsre.org, where you can also view a gallery of photos of the participating veterans, and discover their own personal WWII stories, told in their own words and often accompanied by personal photographs.
WSRE is proud to salute veterans with this impressive array of programming. Thank you to all veterans for your service to our country and for making our freedoms possible. In the words of President Ronald Reagan, "Our liberties, our values, all for which America stands — is safe today because brave men and women have been ready to face the fire at freedom's front. And we thank God for them."