In a world where it seems we can hardly agree on anything – and particularly amidst a political season where our worst tribal qualities are on all too apparent display – it is nice to be …
In a world where it seems we can hardly agree on anything – and particularly amidst a political season where our worst tribal qualities are on all too apparent display – it is nice to be reminded now and again that sometimes we are able to pull together something meaningful and worthy of celebration.
Honor Flights are such an endeavor, and we are fortunate in this state to have such a dedicated team of volunteers and generous organizations to help pull them off.
It all starts at the top, from the program’s originator in Rhode Island, George Farrell. Inspired after seeing one of these flights at the Baltimore/Washington Airport a little 12 years ago, Farrell has turned that inspiration into a sustained movement, resulting in 27 flights in 10 years of operation, ferrying hundreds of service members to Washington to get a chance to see monuments dedicated to their service, and memorials dedicated to their friends and brothers-in-arms who served with them.
There is no denying that the nation has a lot of healing to do when it comes to how we interact and work with one another. Our very institutions are under threat from agenda-driven groups who seek to undermine or deny the integrity of elections that these veterans fought so bravely to protect. Farrell, and the group of volunteers and donors who help make these amazing flights happen, do the country proud by honoring our best, most important values – respect and admiration for those who sacrificed their own safety and freedom to help ensure we have safety and freedom ourselves.
Some of these veterans are approaching 100 years old, or have eclipsed that number. For some of them, this will be their final, or their only trip to see these memorials and monuments erected in their honor. It is not something done out of any ulterior motive but to provide a chance for meaningful reflection to those men and women, for what was undoubtedly an incredibly important and formative experience in their lives.
Truly, it is difficult to navigate today’s world without some inner sense of cynicism. Somebody is always trying to profit, or negotiate power in order to exert influence over others, it seems. But with Honor Flights, we can rest assured that this is a mission of pure heart and intent, and the results on the people who undergo the journey speaks for itself.
With Veterans Day on the horizon, it is worth taking a moment to reflect on this amazing program, and to consider donating time or funds to this wholly American, wholly worthy cause.
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