Rhode Island fire chiefs, Ocean State Job Lot earn thanks for Honor Flights

Rhode Island fire chiefs, Ocean State Job Lot earn thanks for Honor Flights

The Rhode Island Association of Fire Chiefs sponsored an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C., for some World War II veterans of our state on March 23. This once-in-a-lifetime experience for 42 of us started at 5 a.m. Saturday and ended at midnight. Ocean State Job Lot was a major contributor.

Each of us had a personal attendant who watched over us as we visited the national World War II Memorial, Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers from each war, Arlington National Cemetery, a flag raising, and a bus tour around the capitol.

What a moving experience, as we were joined by a very devoted number of active service soldiers, sailors, and marines, all stationed at nearby bases.

The police escorts, bagpipes, cheering crowds and bugles all added to the deep emotions that all of us experienced. Quite often, my thoughts went back to 1944 when we would liberate a town or village in southern France. The people would run out into the streets and roads, dancing, singing, hugging, and waving flags.

The excitement was electrifying, and understandable, after living under Nazi control for many years. Freedom is indeed priceless.

My sincere thanks to all of the firefighters for this unforgettable experience!

Richard Grubb

Lincoln