Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Area Veterans Receive “Wish of a Lifetime,” Travel to Washington, DC and the National WWII Memorial

Last month, I had the privilege of participating in a send-off ceremony for a group of local World War II and Korea veterans from the Mount Pleasant Retirement Village who were travelling to Washington, D.C. to see the National World War II Memorial. I was joined by family members, friends, local officials, staff and other residents as we thanked them for their service and wished them a safe journey to our nation’s capital.  

These brave individuals served in many capacities during the war – some stormed the beaches of Normandy on D-Day or flew bombing raids over Germany, while others served on Navy ships patrolling the Pacific. Women also answered the call to duty, serving in the Army and Navy as nurses treating the wounded or as pilot trainers.

We owe our veterans a tremendous debt of gratitude for their courage and service, and now is the time to give back to those who gave so much of themselves in defense of our country. Many WWII veterans have never seen the national memorial dedicated to the 16 million men and women who served in the armed forces of the U.S. during the war, the more than 400,000 who died, and all those who supported the war effort from home. As our WWII veteran population ages, it is more important than ever to get as many as possible of these incredible men and women the opportunity to see the Memorial, and see it with those who served alongside them.

That is what I found so compelling about this trip for the group from Mount Pleasant – that the group would not only get to tour Washington, D.C. and visit the memorial, but would get to do so surrounded by other veterans, allowing them share stories of their experiences and sacrifices with others who have done the same.

The group’s trip was made possible thanks to Jeremy Bloom’s Wish of a Lifetime Foundation, which grants wishes to lower-income seniors across the United States. Jeremy Bloom is 28 years old and retired from professional skiing and football to establish his foundation to “inspire an entire generation and to create a cultural shift on how we view aging.” He started the foundation in honor of his grandmother as a way to ensure that senior citizens – who have given so much to our communities and our families – are respected, honored and aided in today’s society.

I found Jeremy’s story to be very uplifting – too often today we focus on the latest celebrity gossip and forget about those older adults in our communities who have spent a lifetime serving and helping others. By showing our appreciation to those seniors who are still accomplishing great things and paving the way for others, Jeremy and those like him hope to inspire all generations to give back to the elderly citizens in our society.

Sending these veterans to Washington, D.C. was the first group wish granted by the foundation, and I can’t think of a better way to thank these men and women for all they have done for our country and our community. For more information about Jeremy Bloom’s Wish of a Lifetime, visit Information about the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. can be found by going to or

Please do not hesitate to contact my office if you have questions or concerns about any state-related matter. You can reach my office by phone at (614) 466-9737, by e-mail at or by writing State Senator Shannon Jones, Ohio Statehouse, 1 Capitol Square, Columbus, OH 43215. I look forward to hearing from you.


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