Participating in History: 70th Anniversary of V-E Day

May 08, 2015

To say the past 48 hours have been inspiring would be a major understatement. It’s been my pleasure and privilege to attend the 70th anniversary commemoration of Victory in Europe (V-E) Day in Washington, D.C., with four World War II veterans.

The event held personal significance because my father was also a WWII veteran, having fought in the Battle of the Bulge. We have many veterans as patients at The Urology Group and sponsoring this trip is our way to pay tribute to the courage and sacrifices of the “Greatest Generation”

Our trip began with an official send-off ceremony at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, complete with VFW Honor Guard and an outstanding performance of the National Anthem by Skyler Groves, a 6th grader from Grant County Middle School.

Throughout the trip, people have gone out of their way to thank these veterans for their service, beginning with our departure from Cincinnati: several passengers volunteered to exchange seats with the veterans so they could fly first-class!

Our first stop in D.C. was Arlington National Cemetery for a driving tour. We then visited the Iwo Jima Memorial, which was particularly moving because one of our veterans, Noah Switzer, took part in that battle and has many vivid memories. We ended the evening dining at the Army/Navy Club, which included a fantastic tour of their massive library.

Today we joined thousands of people, including hundreds of other veterans, on the National Mall for a wreath-laying ceremony at the World War II Memorial. At the conclusion of the event, a thunderous “flyover” of WWII aircraft thrilled the crowd. It was truly an amazing site. We topped off our trip with lunch on the rooftop of the W Hotel, giving our guests a final, spectacular view of the White House.

Our veterans have also become “media stars!”

Beginning with interviews with local TV stations at the Cincinnati airport, they’ve also appeared on the Fox News network in D.C. and were interviewed by a USA Today reporter.

To be surrounded by history in Washington, D.C., and to be able to interact with the people who were an integral part of that history, is an amazing experience — certainly one I will never forget. I want to join the nation in saying thank you to our veterans for their service and committing to maintaining the ideals for which they fought.

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