Normandy: A Final Farewell * June 4-6, 2011
This June 4-6, Vision Forum Ministries will conclude our ten-year Faith of Our Fathers Project with a Final Farewell from the beaches of Normandy as part of the 2011 D-Day anniversary celebration. We will be there to give them a last goodbye — a great celebration designed to honor the soldiers of the Second World War, to link the generations of the present with the men of the past, to celebrate the providence of God through these men in securing freedom, and to share a Gospel message of hope to the veterans and their families.
Join us in person or online this June as we stand with World War II’s last living heroes. Visit our official website to learn more about this journey of honor.
The Faith of Our Fathers Project: A Brief Summary
The Faith of Our Fathers Project has been a ten-year effort sponsored by Vision Forum Ministries and led by Doug Phillips. The effort has been designed to teach the present generation to honor the fathers of the Second World War, to help the children and grandchildren of World War II veterans to better understand their heroic fathers and to chronicle their stories and, in so doing, to strengthen a culture of multigenerational faithfulness. The project has been motivated by the Biblical command that we honor our fathers and by a passion to see the hope of the Gospel shared with the men of World War II and their progeny.
Since 2001, the Lord has blessed the Faith of Our Fathers Project with the opportunity to sponsor numerous events in honor of veterans, to communicate the message on radio and national television, and to produce the feature documentary film, The League of Grateful Sons, which has appeared on cable television on numerous occasions. In addition, the project has inspired the publication of numerous books which have developed the themes of honor in the context of the heroism of the men of the Second World War.
Our Beginnings: Pearl Harbor Day — The Faith of Our Fathers Project is Born
The Faith of Our Fathers Project began on December 7, 2001, on the sixtieth anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. On this day, hundreds of WWII veterans from across America gathered in Fredericksburg, Texas — the hometown of Admiral Chester Nimitz — for an unforgettable tribute of honor to the sacrifice and heroism of soldiers who fought in the Second World War. A parade was held, commemorative speeches were given, and interviews with WWII vets from Pearl Harbor and Iwo Jima were recorded on film.
Among the most powerful WWII stories that emerged from this event was that of Marine Bill Henderson who fought during the epic battle of Iwo Jima. Doug Phillips and the Faith of Our Fathers film team conducted a moving interview with Col. Henderson* which has inspired many thousands over the last decade.
Iwo Jima: The League of Grateful Sons Journey to the Pacific Theatre
The interview with Col. Henderson was a key inspiration for The League of Grateful Sons, a WWII documentary produced in 2005. On March 12 of that year, the Faith of Our Fathers film crew hit the beaches of Iwo Jima with Col. Henderson, 2nd Lt. Bill Brown, and more than eighty other aged veterans who battled on those same black sands in 1945, a full sixty year before.
This day on Iwo was part of a journey of honor — a three-week tour of the Pacific in which the Faith of Our Fathers team sought to record on film the wisdom of those surviving men whose lives were forever marked by thirty-six days of hellish warfare. The children and grandchildren of Col. Henderson and Bill Brown joined the veterans on this commemorative tour, as did sons whose fathers never returned from Iwo — the Isacks
brothers and “Johnny Boy” Butler — all heirs to a treasure trove of fatherly wisdom penned from the battlefield.
The League of Grateful Sons premiered on October 28, 2005, and was shortly afterwards screened both near the Punch Bowl in Oahu, and aboard the U.S.S. Missouri in Pearl Harbor before a distinguished audience of veterans and military. The film has since been screened in scores of communities around America and has aired numerous times to millions of homes around the world on such networks as TBN and FaithTV.
The League documentary has inspired many children and grandchildren of WWII vets to interview them during their twilight years, and has spawned a revival of interest among descendants of vets who have already passed to unearth and chronicles the testimonies of their fathers so that future generations might know their stories.
Normandy: A Final Farewell to our WWII Fathers
The Faith of Our Fathers Project is now preparing to stand one last time with WWII’s few remaining heroes on a defining battlefield from their youth — the beaches of Normandy. What began on Pearl Harbor Day in 2001 will end this year on the anniversary of WWII’s “Longest Day” which occurred off the coast of Northern France 67 years ago. Normandy: A Final Farewell will honor one of the last great delegations of WWII veterans in a special tribute to be held June 4-6 on the beaches where Operation Overlord commenced. Veterans from the US and other Allied nations will gather on Normandy’s hallowed ground for a Sunday worship service, Gospel presentations, vintage musical performances, commemorative speeches, in-the-field interviews, and historical tours of the beaches where the battle raged in 1944.
Those who cannot be with us in person for this three-day tour can follow our journey and track the events, blow by blow, through our special online video tour. Families with fathers who fought in the Second World War will also have an opportunity to have their fathers honored as part of a special ceremony from the beaches of Normandy.
Join us in person or online for Normandy: A Final Farewell, a presentation of Vision Forum Ministries’ Faith of Our Fathers Project.
To learn more about our effort in Normandy, visit our official website.
How You Can Help
You can donate to the Faith of our Fathers Project by dropping us a letter, by making an online donation. Your donations are all tax-deductible. Those friends who support A Final Farewell with a tax-deductible gift of $100 or more for Vision Forum Ministries Faith of Our Fathers Project will be automatically given a subscription to our online video tour which will allow you to receive broadcasts from the event in Normandy and our video series detailing the providence of God in the Second World War through the men of the Normandy D-Day invasion.
Donate By Mail
To donate by mail, please send checks or money orders to:
Vision Forum Ministries Donations
Attn: The Faith of Our Fathers Project
4719 Blanco Road
San Antonio, Texas 78212
- Bill Henderson is known affectionately by his close friends as “The Colonel,” though Marine Officer Henderson did not actually attain this rank during his military service.