Stars and Stripes Honor Flight was aiming big with plans for its Field of Honor event on Saturday — meant to bring together thousands of veterans as well as feature the world premiere of the organization's documentary — but news of the ticket sales are making the event even bigger.
With 30,393 tickets sold as of late Friday afternoon, the event is on par to beat the Guiness Book of World Records for a movie premiere attendance — which is currently at 27,022 for a soccer film in Brazil, according to a press release from the group.
There are just over 500 tickets left, according to the group's Facebook page.
"We need people to stay through the credits or they will be deducted from the total ... and we have an awesome post-movie, 15-minute program," said founder Joe Dean, who is also a Port Washington alderman. "We will never be doing this again with WWII heroes ... one dies every 90 seconds in this country ... literally the chance of a lifetime to be in the "arena" with these heroes."
Stars and Stripes Honor Flight is a branch of the National Honor Flight Network that aims to bring WWII veterans to see the memorial in Washington D.C.
Field of Honor: A Salute to the Greatest Generation starts at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, with the parking lots opening at 3:30 p.m. for tailgating. Tickets cost $11 each, and a complete itinerary is available on the organization's website.
Purchase tickets by calling 414-902-4000 or visiting brewers.com/fieldofhonor. Groups of 25 or more can purchase tickets by filling out this form. With questions, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call the event hotline at 262-238-7741. The Brewers are playing the Astros in an away game during this event.
"All seats are great," Dean said, "most of the program will be on the scoreboard and even seats up high will have extraordinary views of flyovers and Leap Frogs Sky Diving into Miller Park."
'It Brought Tears To My Eyes'
The Honor Flight has touched hundreds of World War II vets, including those in Waukesha.
Franklin Teel, who is known by his middle name, Dwight, was greeted with cheers, hugs, smiles and handshakes as he maneuvered his wheelchair past the crowds after leaving the airplane that brought him home from a day trip to Washington, D.C.
Teel, 92, of Waukesha, was among the World War II veterans who were given the opportunity to travel to the National World War II Memorial that opened in 2004 through the Stars and Stripes Honor Flight.
“I have never experienced so much attention, so much respect,” said Teel, while waiting to go home after the flight. “… I was overwhelmed. On the plane, we were given package of mail that came in from friends. I couldn’t help it – it brought tears to my eyes.”