Warwick vets attend World War II Memorial Dedication Ceremonies in Washington, D.C.

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:13

    WARWICK-It was a busy Memorial Day Weekend for Warwick veterans. "The long bus ride was well worth it," said Don McFarland, speaking of the trip to Washington, D.C. to see the dedication of the World War II Monument. McFarland, who shot the photograph of the monument on page 18 of today's Warwick Advertiser, also had the honor of being grand marshal in Monday's Warwick Memorial Day Parade. On Friday, May 28, Warwick Town Supervisor Michael Sweeton and Mayor Michael Newhard paid an early morning visit to American Legion Post 214. They arrived shortly after 7 a.m. to wish a bon voyage to local veterans, their families, friends and other guests who had charted a bus that would take them to Washington, D.C. for the long awaited Dedication of the National World War II Memorial. Mayor Newhard handed out carnations to the ladies. Although the WWII Memorial opened April 29, the official Dedication Ceremony, attended by Presidents George Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, took place on Saturday, May 29. The World War II Memorial is the first national memorial dedicated to those who served during the Second World War. It was established by the American Battle Monuments Commission and honors, "All military veterans of the war, the citizens on the home front, the nation at large, and the high moral purpose and idealism that motivated the nation's call to arms." The Second World War is the only 20th-century event commemorated on the Mall's central axis. The National World War II Memorial was funded primarily by private contributions. The campaign, headed by former U.S. Sen. Bob Dole, received more than $195 million in cash and pledges from individual Americans, corporations, organizations and foundations, veterans groups, students and others. Tickets to the huge event were sold out but Warwick tour organizers: Eddie Hodas, John Felicione and Evarist LeMay, had carefully planned this trip for the past three years. The group also scheduled tour s of Washington, D.C. and Arlington Cemetary before returning to Warwick on Sunday evening, May 30. "We all know we have to get back in time for Monday's Memorial Day Ceremonies in Warwick," said Hodas. More photos are displayed on page 18.