I’m sure many have heard of that old beloved movie, "Miracle on 34th Street", truly there was a miracle of a different kind on Metacom Avenue on this very cold Veterans’ Day.
By: R∴W∴Robert A. Palazzo, DDGM
The miracle I speak of is not restoring the belief of a little girl in Santa Claus, but the miracle of a shiny new Veterans’ Home in Bristol, RI for our many war Veterans who have given so much of themselves in defense of our beliefs.
The original Veterans Home first broke ground in 1890, when it first served Rhode Island veterans of the Civil War, providing meals and quarters. The building you may be most familiar with in passing through Bristol was erected in 1955 with several additions along the way. The new facility began with a bond approval in 2012, with construction beginning in 2015, and occupancy in 2017. The new home provides services for our state’s 67,000 plus war veterans with skilled care, assuring every veteran will not be forgotten.
The ribbon cutting ceremony brought many of our civic, state and federal dignitaries who echoed sentiments of a long overdue project that truly honors the service and sacrifice our veterans and their families have made for our country.
I will not be able to come close in describing to you the atmosphere within the building when we walked in. There is work that still remains to be done on the grounds, but the building is nothing short of spectacular. Within the facility itself there are six communities each appropriately named and labeled in military style. Each community spoke has its own private dining area that will allow families to visit and eat with their loved ones. A "living room" is equipped with a glowing fireplace, wide screen television and comfortable furnishings. The resident’s rooms are spacious and bright each with its own bathroom and shower. The reading areas provide a quiet place to read, socialize or just time for personal reflection. As you walk through there are several pieces of artwork, which depict a location in our state or military scene. Every detail, every facet of the interior was meticulously paid attention to, nothing was overlooked. Everyone from the resident to administration to the architect had input in the final design. The genuine warmth of everyone made a cold seasonal day into a warm welcoming setting. The one way I can describe the interior, it looked like you were in a 5-star resort in paradise, but the best description is that it felt like home!
In closing, if you are fortunate enough to visit the facility, please do, you will be amazed. To our Brother, R∴W∴General Rick Baccus, and to all our veterans throughout our state, we thank you for all you have done. May God continue to bless all those who fight for our freedoms and walk in harm’s way.