Breslin Named Grand Marshal for Memorial Day Parade

by | May 9, 2024

Memorial Day is May 27

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The Town of East Greenwich proudly announces their annual Memorial Day Parade on Monday, May 27, at 10 a.m. 

The parade will step off from Academy Field and wind through the Hill and Harbor District by way of Mawney Street. It will then continue to First Avenue (Rt.401) for a brief wreath-laying ceremony at the World War II Memorial on the corner of Cliff Street. The parade will then proceed north on Main Street to the Town Hall for closing ceremonies to conclude at about 11 a.m. Col. Joanne Breslin, commander of the Varnum Continentals Militia and vice president for the Varnum House Museum, has been selected as the grand marshal. 

The “Lone Piper” Aaron Lindo will lead the parade which will feature police and fire honor guards, elected officials, veteran dignitaries and the always resplendent local militia groups the Kentish Guards and Varnum Continentals. 

Spectators will be delighted by multiple marching bands and various local groups showing their patriotic pride. Closing ceremonies will include a recitation of the Gettysburg Address by Cole Middle School student Eben Byler and the highly anticipated fly-over by the 143rd Airlift Wing, stationed at Quonset Point Air National Guard Station. 

This parade, and the town’s other parade on Veterans Day, is a long-standing tradition by one of a handful of Rhode Island communities that continue to honor the living and the dead of past conflicts. It is with a great deal of pride that the Town of East Greenwich sponsors these parades. 

A temporary parking ban will be in effect on several of the streets surrounding Academy Field in order to accommodate parade vehicles. 

There is NO RAIN DATE. In the event of inclement weather, a ceremony will be held inside the Swift Community Center, 121 Peirce Street, at 10 a.m. including participants from Divisions 1 and 2. All are welcome as capacity allows. 

Originally established as Decoration Day in 1868 by General John A. Logan, commander-in-chief of the Union veterans group known as the Grand Army of the Republic, it was a day for the nation to decorate soldier’s graves with flowers, wreaths and flags. With that tradition in mind, residents are encouraged to show their patriotic spirit by decorating their homes with red, white and blue for all to see and enjoy. 

Memorial Day is a day to honor and remember those men and women who perished while serving in America’s military. It is a time to focus on patriotism, bravery and the American spirit. There is no better time than now for all East Greenwich residents to embrace the true meaning of Memorial Day in light of the challenges we are all facing.

On Memorial Day, the American flag should be flown at half-staff from sunrise until noon only, and then raised briskly to the top of the staff until sunset, in honor of the nation’s battle heroes.  

For further information, call Leigh Carney, at (401) 886-8604 or (401) 261-7729.

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Ray Riccio
Ray Riccio
May 10, 2024 9:32 pm

Edward Everett (the keynote speaker) remarks on Lincoln’s Gettysburg address, “I should be glad, if I could flatter myself that I came as near to the central idea of the occasion, in two hours, as you did in two minutes.” Lincoln’s speech at the time was not so well received. 

It is why hopefully it will forever remain in the annals continued to be recited each year on Memorial Day. 

Memorial Day cray paper or other forms of poppies would be distributed to the public by a Veteran’s organization to children and to all that donated. I’ve seen them less and less over the years. 
The poem always has haunted me and to those who honor the fallen by adorning the gravesites with the Flag each and every year, Thank You.

In Flanders Fields
By Lt Col John McCrae

In Flanders fields the poppies grow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
 If ye break faith with us who die
 We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
 In Flanders fields. 


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