How a patriot’s story has impacted America

Last Wednesday, Heritage cut the ribbon for the newest addition to its D.C. campus, the E.W. Richardson building. The building will provide state-of-the-art housing for the nearly 200 interns that take part in Heritage’s highly competitive internship program every year, and will also provide short-term housing for visiting fellows and researchers.

During the speeches given by President Kay Coles James, Texas senator Ted Cruz, E.W. Richardson fellow James Jay Carafano, and intern graduate Noelani Bonefacio, one common thread appeared: deep respect and gratitude for the man whose legacy made the building possible.

E.W. “Rich” Richardson was a powerful example of American courage, spirit, and ingenuity. Born in 1921, he taught himself how to fly at a young age and loved planes all his life. He was just 20 years old when World War II broke out and he joined the Army Air Corps. After working as a flight instructor, he became a lead bomber pilot on important and dangerous missions overseas.

On February 22, 1945, Rich’s plane was shot down over Vienna, and he bravely manned the controls until his nine other crew members had managed to escape to safety. He was then captured by the Germans, interrogated at Nuremberg, and held as a prisoner of war at Moosberg prison in Germany until a week before the war ended. When he was liberated and returned to America, he knew two things: that he would keep flying, and that he would never take a moment for granted.

After the war, he married and moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he raised his family and built up one of the most successful Ford dealerships in the country. He taught his children to also work hard, and to help others. He was a great patriot, and a firm believer in giving back to the community and the people who had helped him succeed, and even after his passing in 2003, his legacy has continued both to inspire and to help many, many peoples’ lives.

Watch this powerful video telling Rich’s story:

And this video with all the highlights from the Grand Opening:

Heritage is incredibly grateful to Rich’s family and friends, who made the E.W. Richardson building possible, and we’re excited for his story to inspire a new generation of young conservative leaders.

Why do you believe in America? What advice do you have for young conservatives?

You encourage long-term relationships in the Middle East

It was a monumental day for freedom and Israeli-American ties on April 14, when the new embassy in Jerusalem opened. President Trump is making the right move by officially recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and The Heritage Foundation has encouraged and bolstered the move every step of the way.

The day after the president announced the move of the embassy, Heritage expert James Phillips released a commentary praising the President’s decision and looking downstream at what the move might mean for our foreign policy and our relationships in the Middle East. Fellow expert Peter Brookes also addressed the move a few days later, where he stands up for the President’s actions against the naysaying mainstream media, and repeats that Israel has the right to choose its own capital city.

On the day the embassy opened, The Daily Signal ran a livestream of the event on Facebook. The managing editor of The Daily Signal Katrina Trinko and commentary editor Daniel Davis also sat down with Phillips in a podcast to talk about Palestine’s opposition to the move, and the potential impact the move could have on peace in the Middle East. Read the transcript >>

As Hamas continued to ramp up hostilities toward Israel following the move, Phillips published an article in USA TODAY acknowledging that while the embassy move could complicate short-term peace negotiations, in the long run it should benefit peace in the region by pressuring the Middle East to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capitol. The New York Times also quoted his perspective in their own article on the move and its short-term effects.

It’s thanks to your support that Heritage has a respected voice on this issue, and that we can continue to stand behind the President as we strengthen our ties with our closest ally in the Middle East.

What do you think will happen next in The Middle East, and how should Trump react?

You keep America safe by advancing strong military policy

This week, Congress is hard at work on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), an annual bill that serves as approval for our military to continue defending America. It’s a crucial bill, and a unique one in that it almost always passes and is almost always bipartisan, which makes it a key opportunity for encouraging conservative policy.

The NDAA is crucial because it helps to dictate our military readiness. And to that end, Heritage’s experts have been hard at work making sure that conservative policy has a place at the table as committees decide how ready America will be for any coming threats.

Every year, Heritage releases its influential Index of Military Readiness, which outlines how well-equipped and prepared the American military is for an attack right now. And for the last few years, the results have been alarming: our military is in a shaky place, using out-of-date equipment, not training its soldiers well enough, and allowing too many irrelevant programs and political pet projects to suck up its already scanty budget. It’s more important than ever for the new NDAA to address the problems in the military and make sure that we are prepared to protect our country.

At the beginning of the process for the newest NDAA, the defense experts at Heritage released a detailed report highlighting that the NDAA this year must lay the groundwork for the military to recover its strength. While they say it will take more than a year to undo the deterioration the army has suffered, it is even more important that the military has the resources and support that it needs to keep America safe well into the future.

What do you think should be done about the military?