The Cunard Line is honoring World War II veterans on its transatlantic crossing by making the voyage free of charge. The company will be doing more to support military personnel and their families in 2018 by launching a program that provides an allowance for reduced-cost travel during peak times, while also providing access to priority boarding and discounts at hotels within 200 miles of any base or airport.
Veterans Day is a day to honor the men and women who have served in the armed forces of the United States. It is an official federal holiday in the United States that celebrates those who have served or are currently serving in any branch of the U.S. military.
Cunard has planned an unique transatlantic passage onboard Queen Mary 2 that will pay homage to WWII soldiers, marking the line’s fourth such voyage.
Several veterans will be featured during the cruise’s enrichment events, which are being organized in collaboration with The Greatest GENERATIONS Foundation. It’ll set sail from New York City on June 5, 2022, and arrive in Southampton, England on June 12.
(Cunard provided the image.)
Guests will get the chance to attend lectures and meet with numerous WWII veterans over the seven-night cruise, learning firsthand about their wartime experiences. The illustrious heroes will participate in talks and Q&As, providing passengers an intimate peek into the human aspects of combat duty, from the “Battle of the Atlantic” to the D-Day landings in Normandy to the only surviving survivor of Pearl Harbor.
Veterans from the Korean, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan wars will be included in this crossing, which will be a unique feature.
“It is an honor for us to continue our partnership with The Greatest Generations Foundation and pay respect to these distinguished soldiers and their wartime service.” “Guests have been enthralled by their extremely touching and personal anecdotes since we first debuted this very unique event in 2017, resulting in standing ovations every day,” said Jamie Paiko, vice president, Sales, Cunard North America. “We are both honored and ecstatic to welcome back some returning WWII veterans to our flagship, as well as to meet some new Cunard veterans.”
(Cunard provided the image.)
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The following veterans are slated to be on board:
- Steve Melnikoff, 102, was a member of the 1st Battalion, 175th Regiment, 29th Infantry Division, and won three Bronze Stars and two Purple Hearts for his service.
- Mickey Ganitch, 102, was a Senior Chief Quartermaster in the US Navy who saw Pearl Harbor and fought in 17 combat in the Pacific during WWII.
- Harold Angle, 98, was a member of the 112th Infantry Regiment, 28th Infantry Division, and marched along the Champs-Elysées in the Liberation of Paris on August 29, 1944.
- James Blane, 98, was a Corporal in the United States Marine Corps’ 4th Marine Division who fought in the engagements of Kwajalein (Roi-Namur), Saipan, Tinian, and Iwo Jima.
- Harold Radish, 97, served in the United States Army as a combat intelligence observer with the 90th Infantry Division. Radish, a Jewish-American, was caught by the Germans during the Battle of the Bulge and spent the remainder of the war as a prisoner of war in Nazi Germany.
- Irving Locker, 97, vividly recalls the very cold winter of 1944-45, when he was a 19-year-old staff sergeant in the 1st Army’s 7th Corps’ 116th AAA Gun Battalion. In Hitler’s last desperate attempt to avoid defeat in the European Theater of WWII, they fired 90mm anti-aircraft and anti-tank weapons against the Germans.
- Robert Fisher, 88, is a career Marine Corps officer who retired in 1982 after graduating from the Naval Academy in 1955. He also researched four Southeast Asian guerrilla battles at the time, earning the Malaya Jungle School Syllabus in Johore Bahru, where he went on to teach 20,000 Marines, Navy Seals, Sea-Bees, and Army Special Forces Teams for Vietnam.
- Richard Prince, 76, was a member of the Delta Company of the 1st Battalion 5th Marines when they attacked Hue’s Dong Ba Tower. During the war, photographs of his gallantry appeared in Time Magazine and on the cover of Stars & Stripes Magazine. During this combat, he was critically wounded in the neck and was medevaced out of Vietnam to the United States.
- Jesse “Bud” Alley, 80, participated in the Vietnam War for two years, including a full twelve-month deployment with the First Cavalry Division (Airmobile) from August 1965 to August 1966. His award-winning book The Ghosts of the Green Grass chronicles his Vietnam War experiences.
- Kevin Brewington, 38, was serving in the US Army as an infantryman with the 125th Special Brigade Combat Team when he stepped on a landmine two months into his deployment in Afghanistan. He awoke four days later in a German hospital. Brewington was injured in the explosion and lost both legs and a portion of his right arm. He has spent the past seven years healing and reconstructing his life.
(Cunard provided the image.)
Topics covered in Q&As and other talks with the veterans include:
- Pearl Harbor was bombed on December 7, 1941.
- D-Day: The Normandy Invasion, 1944
- The Battle of the Bulge, 1944: The Longest Winter
- The Battle of Iwo Jima, 1945 (Blood Sand)
- The Forgotten Generation of the Vietnam War
- Afghanistan: The Endless Conflict
Jeremy Hubbard, the current co-anchor of FOX31 Denver News, will join the cruise as a panelist and lecture moderator. Hubbard formerly worked for ABC News in New York as a reporter, contributing and reporting for all ABC News programmes, including Good Morning America, World News with Dianne Sawyer, and Nightline.
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