To The Editor:
Recently I, along with 20 from other WWII, Korean and Vietnam War veterans, was invited to be a guest on the Rhode Island Honor Flight. Little did I realize when I happily accepted, that the Honor Flight would be one of the more memorable days of my life.
The trip to Washington, D.C. included visits to the WWII Memorial, the Korean War Memorial, the Vietnam War Memorial, the Vietnam War Memorial Wall, and Changing of the Guard at the Arlington National Cemetery.
Crowds everywhere made it a happy festive occasion, but the huge number of Americans lost as described throughout the WWII Memorial, the eerie reality of the Korean Memorial that made one acutely aware of those who made the ultimate sacrifice and the Vietnam Wall, clearly establishes the terrible loss of American lives.
As mentioned above, the Honor Flight was a unique and memorable experience. Those who made it possible – members of the Association of Fire Chiefs of Rhode Island, with the leadership of retired Providence Fire Chief – are to be congratulated for the astounding service they provide.
I believe there is significant outcome of the Honor Flight beyond providing veterans with a great day. It is, and should be, a continuing reminder of the supreme sacrifice made by those who never came home from conflicts dating from the U.S. Revolution to those killed in recent efforts to maintain the integrity of our country, America, that is so dear to us.
Every detail is considered to assume the pleasure and comfort of the veterans on the Honor Flight. My personal guardian on escort, John Pierson, retired Deputy Fire Chief in North Kingstown, RI, was magnificent. He was not only my guardian on the Honor Flight. I have a new lifetime friend.
This Honor Flight was sponsored by National Grid and along with Fire Dept. personnel, National Grid employees volunteered services the day of the trip.
I, and I am sure all others who have enjoyed being guests on the 17 Honor Flights, offer our deepest thanks.