Free event includes screening of Honor Flight movie hosted by Dean Waddell
The event is scheduled at 2 p.m. Sunday, November 9th at the Murphy Theatre Community Center, 50 W. Main Street in Wilmington. The event is free.
The celebration will be hosted by Dean “Okie” Waddell, a U.S. Marine veteran, and will honor a long-time theater patron and veteran, Kenneth Bumgarner, a successful area businessman who passed away earlier this year.
Honor Flight is a 2012 movie that follows a group of Ohio veterans to the World War II monuments in Washington, DC.
“Honor Flight is a heartwarming documentary about four living World War II veterans and a Midwest community coming together to give them the trip of a lifetime,” according to the movie’s website. The Los Angeles Times describes the movie as “enormously moving.”
Since 2005, the Honor Flight Network, a Springfield, Ohio based foundation, has been raising funds nationwide to sponsor such trips by Veterans groups. The group describes as its mission to ‘transport America’s veterans to Washington, DC to visit those memorial dedicated to honor their service and sacrifices.”
Bumgarner joined such a group of friends and veterans in Washington, DC in 2009 with assistance from the Honor Flight Network.
Daughter Kathryn Bumgarner Smith said the experience changed her father, a World War II veteran of the U.S. Merchant Marine. “He spoke more openly about his wartime experiences after he returned from the visit to Washington, DC.
“He began sharing his experiences which helped me to see him as a 19-year old facing incredible decisions about his life,” she said.
“I am grateful for the special bond that this helped to foster between us in his later years,” Smith added.
“Dad would be thrilled that the community continues to honor the service and sacrifice of all our veterans,” Smith said, adding, “it would be his fondest hope that the audience include lots of young people who need to know more about our shared history.”
The event is sponsored by The Murphy Theatre and the Kenneth Bumgarner family in cooperation with the American Legion Post 49, VFW Post 6710, Community Care Hospice, and Dignity Memorial, said Theater Manager Maretta Alden.
“We are grateful to the individuals and businesses that make such vital programming available to the widest audience,” Alden said.
About the Murphy Theatre
The Murphy Theatre is a community theatre in Wilmington, Ohio, and event ticket sales support its maintenance and preservation. Opened in 1918 by Charles Murphy, the Murphy Theatre has been open to the public for over 90 years. It is a testament to a thriving local arts community and a rich architectural history. The Murphy Theatre hosts live theatre productions, films, festivals, and performing artists to support this enduring legacy, operating as an open space for public meetings, speakers, celebrations, and events. The Murphy Theatre is more than just a landmark. It is the heart of a downtown community that celebrates its past while pushing forward into its future. To learn more about the history of The Murphy Theatre, or to become a theatre supporter, please visit themurphytheatre.org or call 937-382-3643.