The true purpose of the government is to serve the people; often, however, just about everything else under the sky is at some point prioritized above this higher purpose. Fortunately, I was able to see first-hand an example of when the politics are put aside in the name of serving humanity: an honor flight.
I am interning in Congresswoman Barbara Comstock’s Washington D.C. office during the month of May. I was asked if I wanted to help out Congressman Rice (SC-07)’s Office with an honor flight for veterans.
An honor flight allows World War II and Korean War veterans to visit Washington D.C. expenses paid is to ensure that those who have served have the opportunity to visit the WWII, Korean, and Vietnam memorials built in their honor.
Despite the fact that it was rainy, windy, and all around one of the worst days weather-wise possible, the veterans were so full of life. I had the opportunity to greet the veterans as they entered into the World War II memorial. It was incredibly moving to witness the 66 men and women who had fought for our country looking at the memorials built in their name for the first time. When we made a comment to a veteran about how we wish the weather was a little better for the visit, the veteran replied with, “rain is just a little liquid sunshine.” Determined to make the most of it, the experience really struck me in how the actions of government directly impact its citizens in such monumental ways.
It can be hard to connect the administrative duties ever-present in a Congressional office with the actual people that the information belongs to. The constantly-changing news cycle and paper work can dehumanize the very people that the work is attempting to serve. I am very grateful for the opportunity to greet the Veterans on such an important day because it reminded me of why I am interested in a career in public service in the first place.
**Photo creds to Congressman Rice’s Office