By CHERIL VERNON
HOUSTON — Palestine-area veterans and the general public are invited to attend a free Veterans Day event at the Houston Astros' Minute Maid Park featuring a tribute to veterans, documentary and musical entertainment.
“The Astros Salute to Veterans,” presented by Occidental Petroleum, will be held on Monday, Nov. 11. Gates will open at 11 a.m. with a variety of musical entertainment starting at 11:30 a.m. Featured entertainers will include Country Music Association award-winning artist Gary Morris and American Country Music award-winning artist Tracy Byrd.
At 2 p.m., the centerpiece will be the screening of the award-winning documentary, “Honor Flight: One Last Mission,” on the video board at Minute Maid Park for thousands of attendees of all ages.
Members of Palestine's own William Findley Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution are encouraging the public and veterans to attend, especially World War II veterans.
“One of the event sponsors is the Texas Society of Daughters of the American Revolution. They are going to have volunteers available to do oral histories from our World War II veterans that are in attendance, so any that are able to make the trip, that would be wonderful,” said William Findley DAR treasurer Cindy Thornton of Palestine. “I know a few of our members are going and taking their fathers that are World War II veterans.”
Tickets to the event are free, but they must be requested by Nov. 1 to receive your ticket by mail. All tickets are general admission and ushers will direct you to available seating. To reserve tickets, visit www.astros.com/vets.
Here is some more information about tickets:
• Wheelchair accessible seating is available. Please use the wheelchair accessible link to request tickets. Due to limited availability, handicap accessible seating only includes one additional ticket.
• Early arrival is highly recommended. Please allow plenty of time for parking and bag check.
All tickets will be mailed unless other arrangements are made to pick them up at Minute Maid Park prior to Nov. 11.
Parking is available in paid lots surrounding Minute Maid Park. Parking is not included in the free ticket reservation process.
Individuals seeking up to 50 tickets may use the request process described above. For active duty Military, Guard and Reserve units seeking free group tickets for units to attend together, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
If you encounter any technical issues while requesting tickets online, please contact Kristen Lundgren at 713-259-8319 or email email@example.com
“Honor Flight: One Last Mission” is a documentary about living WWII veterans and a community coming together to give them the trip of a lifetime. Volunteers race against the clock to fly thousands of WWII veterans to Washington, D.C. to see the memorial constructed for them in 2004, nearly 60 years after their epic struggle.
The trips are called "Honor Flights" and for the veterans in their late 80s and early 90s, it's often the first time they've been thanked and the last trip of their lives. The 24-hour journey is full of deeply moving surprises. It's uncommon for WWII veterans to talk about the war, but the Honor Flight experience brings their stories out. Many veterans say, with the exception of their wedding day and the birth of their children, the trip is the best day of their life.
The Honor Flight Network is a nonprofit organization that has flown over 100,000 veterans to Washington, D.C. It consists of 117 hubs across the country, including Honor Flight Houston, which was established in May 2013.