article from the Grand Lodge of California Website:

World War II ended in 1945, but it wasnt until 2004 that a memorial was dedicated in Washington, D.C. to the 16 million who served in the armed forces during that war.

Health and financial obstacles have prevented most surviving veterans, now well into their 80s, from taking the long trip to honor their fallen friends and their years of service.

Operation Greatest Gift, the Grand Masters Project for 2009-2010, will make this dream come true for hundreds of California's World War II veterans.

We will organize several three-day trips to Washington, D.C. designed to provide what many veterans cannot provide for themselves: an assisted visit to the memorial, at no cost to them. Because of our support, they will have an opportunity to say goodbye to fallen friends, be recognized for their service to our country, and come to terms with an important part of their lives.

The Grand Masters Project will also raise funds to support the work of the Masonic Hospital Visitors Program Committee. This committee of dedicated Masons ensures that there is always a presence at our states veterans hospitals by providing friendship, social programs, and regular visitation.

Together, we can show our veterans that their service has not been forgotten.

Supporting Operation Greatest Gift

We expect to raise $400,000 to make this dream a reality. The Grand Master will be traveling throughout the state, and will be honored to accept gifts from both lodges and individuals.

Please contact the Grand Lodge Office of Philanthropy at (415) 292-9117.