WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — For more than two months, health care workers in Rhode Island have been regarded as local heroes as they battle the coronavirus outbreak day in and day out.
On Thursday, the R.I. National Guard hosted a flyover and parade to recognize the service, sacrifice and dedication of the front-line workers at Kent Hospital in Warwick and Rhode Island Hospital in Providence.
A C-130J aircraft from the 143d Strategic Airlift Wing based at Quonset Air National Guard Base flew over the two locations.
“It’s really nice to see the community is really actually appreciating everything we’re doing. This is a crazy time that we’re all in,” Kent Hospital worker Eric Migneault said.
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The Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency, Rhode Island State Police, and Warwick and Providence Police Departments also took part in the parade.
“It was just really nice to come out here and see the celebration because it really doesn’t feel like that inside the hospital,” Danielle Lovett said.
R.I. National Guard Maj. Gen. Christopher Callahan noted that as life slowly returns to normalcy, it is important to remember and honor the incredible sacrifices made by the health care community during the crisis.
“These doctors, nurses and other health care workers have worked at a heroic and historic pace for the last several months, and the Rhode Island National Guard is proud to participate in this tribute to show some small fraction of our gratitude to those men and women,” he said.
Dr. Melissa Murphy at Kent Hospital said while the event itself only lasted a few minutes, there was a “buzz” among employees all morning as they looked forward to it.
“Each of us are a little bit nervous during this time span,” she said. “To be able to have this support it really phenomenal for Kent Hospital and health care in general in Rhode Island.”