Friends of the National World War II Memorial Chairman Ambassador F. Haydn Williams presents a wreath at the WWII Memorial on Memorial Day 2007. The WWII Memorial was formally dedicated in 2004. (Photo from Friends of the WWII Memorial website)
Do you know who is considered the Father of the World War II Memorial? On a recent trip to this National Memorial, RMHF answered the question. www.rockymountainhonorflight.org
May 20, 2016: Cliff Fejfar, VP of RMHF wrote from Washington DC: “Just wanted to share some breaking news from Rocky Mountain Honor Flight. Today at the WWII Memorial, a special ceremony was held for Ambassador Haydn Williams, called the Father of the WWII Memorial and Senator Bob Dole. Earl Morse the Founder of Honor Flight and Mary Haddon President of Rocky Mountain Honor Flight, along with two WWII Veterans placed a wreath at the Memorial during the event.”
Mary Haddon, Earl Morse, Sol Gins, Marjorie Alexander
This weekend, we celebrate Memorial Day. All across the US, Americans travel to Washington D.C. to the WWII Memorial. They travel to honor and remember our veterans and the sacrifices they made. It seems only fitting to acknowledge the veteran who is known as, “the Father of the WWII Memorial.”
Ambassador F. Haydn Williams was a World War II Veteran. He was a major private donor and supporter of the WWII Memorial project, and helped raise other large contributions. He died just one month ago, in April 2016.
From Friends of the WWII Memorial website, words from Veteran Ambassador Williams on May 24, 2014.
“Today the Memorial is among the most heavily visited Memorial in all of Washington, day and night. The Park Service estimates that visitors now exceed 4 million a year and the numbers are on the rise. This fulfills the expectations of the ABMC who recommended and championed the Rainbow Pool site on the National Mall’s glorious open east-west axis. A location unmatched in its awesome beauty, visual grandeur and historic surroundings.”
“For Veterans of WWII, the Memorial is a special destination, a rendezvous, a mecca of sorts, a gathering place for reunions, and a last hurrah as their numbers dwindle. The nationally acclaimed Honor Flight program with its national hubs and other like local community initiatives, continue to bring thousands of WWII Veterans by air to Washington, some proudly wearing their old and partial uniforms and some in wheelchairs. There they see “THEIR” MEMORIAL. In person they sense its presence and meaning, they reminisce, revel in the company of fellow G.I’s, and are made to feel remembered, saluted and honored. These highly emotional, moving, heart-lifting occasions at the Memorial, give life and meaning to the words “a grateful nation remembers.” www.wwiimemorialfriends.org
Ambassador Williams words captures the true essence of what the World War II Memorial represents, and why he felt it was so important. It also explains why Rocky Mountain Honor Flight continues to work tirelessly for these flights.
On May 21, 2016, people gathered to welcome veterans home from another RMHF trip at Denver International Airport.
The Dickinson Family were waiting for wife/mother @ DIA. They were happy to join in with others in the celebration.
Team RWB Tara McMachen, Ashley Harrison, Jill Orr
And then the moment we were waiting for! Veterans arrive and are greeted with smiles, flags waving, posters, and cheers. Will Rogers said: “We can’t all be heros because someone has to sit on the curb and clap as they go by.”
Veteran Marge Alexander with Loretta, Erika, & Nicole Krook
Veteran Harold Rogers
Veteran Evelyn Bradbury
Veteran Isaac Karl Post
THANK YOU Rocky Mountain Honor Flight for your continued dedication in honoring our Veterans. If you would like to get involved and/or donate, please visit their website. You can also contribute by using Amazon Smiles. RMHF is part of Amazon’s donation list.
THANK YOU to all of our Veterans and their families. On this Memorial Day, as Francis A. Walker wrote: “We come, not to mourn our dead soldiers, but to praise them.”
Lastly, THANK YOU Ambassador F. Haydn Williams, for your service and dedication. Your efforts and leadership helped establish the WWII Memorial which stands with dignity and grace.
1919 – 2016