What if you had been alive in 1830 for the last gathering of men who stood beside Washington at Valley Forge? Would you have taken your children to meet these heroes? Would you have made time to thank them? Or what if you had been alive in the 1930s and could shake hands with the last living men who fought in the Battle of Gettysburg? What questions would you ask them? How would you honor them?
We live at the end of a new epoch—the few remaining survivors of World War II, the defining war of the 20th century, are quickly passing into eternity. Soon they will all be gone. And when they die, they will take with them important stories and lessons from the past.
What if you could meet some of the best examples of these men and mine wisdom from their experiences? What if your children had one last opportunity to thank the survivors of a special group of men of the Second World War—the heroes who landed on Normandy for the greatest amphibious invasion in history?
And what if you could invest in the twilight hours of these heroic men by giving them a grand celebration in Normandy? What if you could record their stories on film, preserving for generations to come their legacy of honor and duty fulfilled?
One Last Opportunity to Honor Our Living D-Day Fathers from the Bloody Beaches of Their Youth
It is the mission of the Faith of Our Fathers Project to make this "what if" a reality for tens of thousands. On June 4–6, our team will stand on Normandy’s beaches where Allied forces engaged an entrenched Nazi force on D-Day sixty-seven years ago. Old vets who were then young men will recount their stories, and we will honor them through special ceremonies of gratitude. We will say “thank you” for their brave sacrifice to defend our freedoms. Presenting Normandy: A Final Farewell—our special tribute to World War II’s last living heroes.
But we can only do this with your help.
Our Track Record and Our Vision
This year, Vision Forum Ministries and the Faith of Our Fathers Project conclude a ten-year journey of honor with Normandy: A Final Farewell.
Our journey began in 2001 as a labor of love that has included important events, books, and film projects like The League of Grateful Sons documentary that has been broadcast to millions around the world.
2011 marks the end of this effort as veterans and their families from the U.S., France, and beyond will gather on the beaches of Normandy this June. There we will honor the World War II generation’s legacy of heroism and celebrate God’s providence in securing our freedoms through their sacrifice. We will remember and chronicle their stories by producing film projects that will link the generations of the present with the men of the past. And we will share a Gospel message of hope with the veterans and their families.
Our mission involves creating three important tools for communicating honor, demonstrating gratitude, and preserving legacies for the next generation:
1. A Final Farewell: The Celebration of Honor
First, we will honor the lives and legacies of the men of the Normandy invasion with “A Final Farewell” from Normandy, a three-day event which will include an evangelical worship service where the Gospel will be shared with these men in the twilight of their lives, followed by a grand celebration to be held on the eve of the D-Day anniversary. The celebration will feature music from the World War II era, children in vintage apparel, food, special guest appearances, and messages designed to communicate our gratitude for God’s goodness in working through these men to purchase our freedom.
During this time the veterans, families, and friends will have the opportunity to enjoy other special D-Day events, including paratrooper jumps and historic reenactments.
Then on June 6, the anniversary of the invasion, we walk the beaches with the vets and record their stories on the very ground where they fought almost seventy years ago.
2. Normandy: A Final Farewell—The Tribute Video
Second, we will produce Normandy: A Final Farewell, a tribute video that captures interviews from these veterans and chronicles their last journey to the beaches of their youth. Hosted by Doug Phillips, director of The League of Grateful Sons, this tribute video will honor and preserve the legacy of our faithful World War II veterans while telling the story of Normandy in the context of God’s providence.
Normandy: A Final Farewell will also feature highlights from speeches, reenactors, period music, and much more from our grand celebration.
Upon completion, Normandy: A Final Farewell will be given as a gift to all the veterans and their families who request a copy while attending our time of celebration and honor. This will serve as an important historic record for future generations as well as a vivid reminder that we never forget the goodness of God in preserving our nation through the sacrifice of the men of D-Day. We will also endeavor to broadcast the film on television and to make the DVD available for sale, with the hopes of reaching tens of thousands of American families with this special video of honor.
3. D-Day and the Providence of God: The Virtual Tour and Online Study Course
Third, we will create D-Day and the Providence of God, an action-packed virtual tour and online study course featuring powerful and informative teachings from the field that will allow thousands of families to better understand God’s providential hand through the epic events that led to World World II and that occurred during and after the Normandy invasion. There have been many books and films on D-Day, but there has never been a video series and study course of this nature that teaches students to interpret the events surrounding D-Day from a distinctively biblical framework. This study course is intended to fill that void.
How You Can Help
To bring veterans back to Normandy for the anniversary of D-Day, to coordinate and sponsor the grand celebration events in their honor, to staff the activities, and to film and produce both D-Day and the Providence of God and Normandy: A Final Farewell tribute video is an expensive undertaking. A project of this magnitude takes a tremendous amount of resources to pull off—in labor, time, and finances.
With gratitude to the Lord, we are pleased to announce that we have already raised significant funds necessary to accomplish our mission, but more is needed. At this point, by a very conservative estimate of our projected costs, we have determined that we need to raise at least $50,000 more to cover the basic production expenses for creating Normandy: A Final Farewell and D-Day and the Providence of God.
$50,000 may seem like a lot, but for a film project that will be shot in Europe and that involves as much preparation, groundwork, expensive transportation, manpower, and the hosting of a grand celebration that this film will require, this sum only scratches the surface of what we could use. And, of course, $50,000 does not nearly cover all that we could do in extending honor and gratitude to these noble veterans during our celebration. However, this amount would go a long way toward financing this special time of celebration and honor, and would enable us to create videos that viewers will find inspiring and that preserve the legacy of our World War II veterans.
Will you help us make this project a reality? Will you help us reach our minimum goal of $50,000? And would you consider helping us go beyond this minimum threshold so that we will be better equipped to honor our veterans with a truly memorable event?
SPREADING THE WORD
You can play an important role in making this celebration and DVD happen through your financial assistance and by helping us spread the word online via social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, your blog or website, and e-mail. Just use the tools located near the top of this page beneath our video!
What You Will Receive for Helping Fund This Project
Because Vision Forum Ministries is a 501(c)3 Christian ministry, we depend upon the generous donations of those who share our passion in order to accomplish our work. And yes, these donations are tax-deductible! But, rather than simply request donations for our Normandy project in a traditional approach to raising funds, we are using Kickstarter as a way to reward our project partners. And the good news is that anything you contribute to our Kickstarter project over and above the retail value of what you receive in return is still tax-deductible.
We have a wide range of rewards to offer those who help fund our Normandy: A Final Farewell project. From a sincere “Thank you” for partnering with us, to a collection of commemorative prints from our time in Normandy and your name listed as an Associate Producer in the DVD credits, there are pledge tiers and rewards that should work for any budget. You can view all of our pledge rewards in the right-hand sidebar on this page.
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
WHEN WILL I RECEIVE MY REWARD(S)?
As is the case with every Kickstarter project, you will begin receiving your reward(s) sometime after our project is funded. Of course, our project will only be funded if our $50,000 pledge goal is met by May 7, 2011. But, assuming our project is funded, exactly when you receive your reward(s) will depend upon whether the reward is already in existence or whether it is tied into the project you are funding. For example, if you pledge $25 you will receive a copy of The League of Grateful Sons on DVD. That film has already been produced, so you will receive your DVD within a short period of time after our project is funded. If you pledge $50, you will receive both The League of Grateful Sons DVD and a commemorative "Normandy: A Final Farewell" t-shirt. However, because these t-shirts will not be produced until sometime after our return from Normandy in June, you will receive your The League of Grateful Sons DVD first, and your "Normandy: A Final Farewell" t-shirt after our return from Europe.
HOW WILL YOU KNOW MY ADDRESS AND OTHER IMPORTANT REWARDS FULFILLMENT INFORMATION?
If our Kickstarter project is funded by May 7, 2011, we will begin contacting you at that time via e-mail to get your relevant information, including things such as your mailing address, phone number, the name you want listed in the film credits, etc. The information we need from you will depend upon which reward(s) your pledge entitles you to receive.
WHAT IF I DON'T WANT TO RECEIVE ANY INCENTIVES? CAN I STILL DONATE?
Yes! If you just want to support our project without receiving any incentives in return, simply select that option on the next page when placing your pledge. Your donation will be fully tax-deductable in that situation.
IS MY PLEDGE AMOUNT PUBLICLY VIEWABLE?
No. Vision Forum Ministries will be informed of who pledges what, but others cannot see how much you pledge.
WHAT HAPPENS IF THE PROJECT PLEDGE GOAL IS NOT MET IN TIME?
If our $50,000 project pledge goal is not met by May 7, 2011, Vision Forum Ministries and The Faith of Our Fathers Project will receive nothing, and the Normandy: A Final Farewell project will not be funded. Please help us make sure this does not happen! Partner with us financially, and spread the word!
HOW DO I LEARN MORE ABOUT NORMANDY: A FINAL FAREWELL?
For more information about this project, including our time of celebration and honor, our virtual tour and online study course called "D-Day and the Providence of God,” and Vision Forum Ministries, please visit the following sites:
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: www.afinalfarewell.org
VISION FORUM MINISTRIES: www.visionforumministries.org
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