NARRAGANSETT- Residents and veterans of Narragansett joined together to honor the Wounded Warrior Project during the flag raising ceremony in Veteran’s Memorial Park on Friday.
Resident Karen Shabshelowitz presented both the wounded warrior flag and the flag raising ceremony to the Narragansett Town Council. According to Shabshelowitz, the flag serves as a lasting reminder of the sacrifices that our military is making on our behalf in these dangerous times.
Representative from the Wounded Warrior Project, Kevin McMahon, shared his personal experience of being both a member of the Wounded Warrior Project and retiree from the military.
“Thanks for having me as a representative, as an alumni of the project and a member of the national campaign team I go through a lot of different groups and organizations that support us,” said McMahon. “From the bottom of my heart, thank you for recognizing the wounded warrior project and the injured and or ill service members post 9/11.”
According to McMahon, the Wounded Warrior Project was the result of a couple of business man in 2003 who saw what was happening across the country with the ill or injured service members.
What started as a program to provide comfort items to wounded service members has grown into a complete rehabilitative effort to assist warriors as they transition back to civilian life. The mission of the Wounded Warrior Project is to honor and empower wounded warriors, said McMahon.
“I think what’s happening now, as I’ve been taught through the wounded warrior project, the American public and when I say that, I mean you, are recognizing that even though I stand here and have my ten fingers and toes, that doesn’t mean there’s nothing wrong with me,” said McMahon. “I appreciate being part of the Wounded Warrior Project and what they have done for me personally over the past two years pretty much got me off of the couch and saved my life. It is a pleasure to be involved with such a fantastic organization.”
Town Council President James Callaghan was present during the ceremony and thanked Karen Shabshelowitz for bringing this item to the council’s attention.
“I would like to acknowledge the VFW State Commander Gary Mannix here today, I would also like to acknowledge Karen Shabshelowitz it was her recommendation to have the flag raised here and at the rotary,” said Callaghan. “Miss Shabshelowitz, I would like to thank you for your idea and your red white and blue honors.”
This ceremony is particularly poignant for Karen because her son Patrick is a U.S. Army reservist, Narragansett native, Narragansett graduate, New York City fireman and is currently deployed in Africa, said Callaghan.
Although the Wounded Warrior project flag was donated by the Lions Club, Callaghan also thanked the Narragansett Democratic and Republican Town Committees who offered to purchase a new flag for the event.
Callaghan also acknowledged and thanked Narragansett resident Ted Wright for his efforts towards the Wounded Warrior Project flag and starting the rotary project.
According to Callaghan, Wright had the flag up in the rotary the day after the town council had voted to approve the motion.
The ceremony ended with Callaghan thanking the veterans and active duty military members and their families for their services and sacrifices.
“I would like to name all of you today but I think there’s too many of you here to do that,” said Callaghan. “Your service is remarkable; we wouldn’t be here today without you. I want to thank you for everything you have done for the state, the town, and the country all of these years, thank you very much.”