EG Veterans Day Parade: ‘Grateful & Proud’

by | Nov 12, 2023

Above: A member of the Kentish Guard fires a volley during the ceremony at the World War II Memorial at First Avenue and Cliff Street. Photo by Joe Morel

Harry Waterman, Grand Marshal, honors all who serve at Town Parade

By Laura Sullivan

Friends, family, fans and other townsfolk turned out in patriotic style on a chilly but sunny Saturday morning for East Greenwich’s annual Veterans Day Parade. Continuing a tradition that goes back over a century, the town put on an impressive parade, culminating in ceremonies at the Town Hall, where veterans, present and past, were recognized for their service to our country. The procession included town officials, police and fire honor guards, the Kentish Guards and Varnum Continentals, the East Greenwich High School Band, the R.I. Highlanders, Scout troops, modern and ballet dancers, the Blue Knights and other civic groups. 

There was also an impressive lineup of classic and antique cars and fire trucks. Captain John Romano (USN ret.), former Grand Marshal – and centenarian! – waved from one of the historic EG fire trucks, resplendent in his Navy dress uniform. The procession culminated with the float bearing the replica of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, a visible reminder of the ultimate sacrifice made by so many.

As this year’s Grand Marshal, Harry Waterman is well known in East Greenwich, especially along Main Street, at St. Luke’s Church, and in Chamber of Commerce and Rotary circles. A Navy veteran himself, Harry has been part of the East Greenwich community for over 50 years.  

Following introductions by Town Manager Andrew Nota and remarks by Major Gen. Christopher P. Callahan, commanding general of the Rhode Island National Guard, Waterman shared stirring and personal reflections on his years in the Navy, his life in East Greenwich with his wife, Roz, and his mindfulness of other veterans who have served.  

“I am a veteran,” he declared proudly, naming many other recognizable “Townies” who have also worn the uniform. Punctuating his remarks, Harry shared how “I am a grateful veteran”, “a mindful veteran,” “a servant veteran,” “a proud veteran,” “a thankful veteran.” 

Waterman spoke of role models along the way, including his late father-in-law, the Rev. Alfred W. Burns, Capt. Carl Hoyer, and 104-year-old Bill McClintick (EG’s holder of the Boston Post Cane). He also paid special tribute to Roz, his bride of 50 years, who “accepts me as I am, to [just] be Harry.”  

For a young man from Cincinnati who had never seen the ocean until 1970, when he joined the Navy, Harry Waterman is a humble hometown hero, even as he is grateful for his military service. Still, he is mindful of other veterans who may not be as fortunate.  “Today’s military are the veterans of tomorrow,” he says, and are deserving of our support, respect and thanks.

Laura Sullivan lives in East Greenwich.

East Greenwich High School Avenger Band. Photo by Joe Morel

2nd Rhode Island Volunteers Co. B Reenactors. Photo by Joe Morel

EGFD Color Guard. Photo by Joe Morel

Members of the Providence Ballet. Photo by Sandra Saunders

The Rhode Island Highlanders march up Spring Street. Photo by Sandra Saunders

One of the antique cars, with riders in the rumble seat. Photo by Sandra Saunders

One of the Blue Knights. Photo by Sandra Saunders

The Avenger Band. Photo by Sandra Saunders

Grand Marshal Harry Waterman speaks at the closing ceremony. Photo by Sandra Saunders

The volley during the closing ceremony in front of Town Hall. Photo by Sandra Saunders

One of the two trumpeters from the EGHS Avenger Band. Photo by Sandra Saunders

Singing the National Anthem at the start of the closing ceremony. Photo by Sandra Saunders

Lone Piper Aaron Lindo on First Avenue. Photo by Joe Morel

The EGPD Color Guard on First Avenue. Photo by Joe Morel

EGFD Color Guard. Photo by Joe Morel

Town Council members, from left, Mike Zarrella, Mike Donegan, Renu Englehart, and Mark Schwager; and, far right, Rep. Evan Shanley. Photo by Joe Morel

The Kentish Guard marches on First Avenue. Photo by Joe Morel

The Varnum Continentals. Photo by Joe Morel

Pack One, Warwick. Photo by Joe Morel

Pack 3, East Greenwich. Photo by Joe Morel

Dancers. Photo by Joe Morel

R.I. Highlanders on First Avenue. Photo by Joe Morel

The EG Lions Club. Photo by Joe Morel

Drummers from the Avenger Band. Photo by Joe Morel

American Heritage Girls. Photo by Joe Morel

Float commemorating the Tomb of the Unknown Solider. Photo by Joe Morel

Captain John Romano (USN ret.) waves from one of the antique fire trucks in the parade. Photo by Joe Morel

Parade organizer and MC Leigh Carney. Photo by Joe Morel

A flyover by the 143rd Airlift Wing, R.I. Air National Guard, out of Quonset Point. Photo by Sandra Saunders

Value the news you get here on East Greenwich News? As a 501-c3, we depend on reader support. Become a sustaining (monthly) donor or make a one-time donation! Click on the Donate button below or send a check to EG News, 18 Prospect St., East Greenwich, RI 02818. Thanks.

Notify of

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
November 13, 2023 7:15 am

Kudos to all who served and participated in a great Veterans Day Parade. Somehow missed Harry going by, but Congrats again. Also tip of the hat to Leigh Carney, running a great parade once again.

November 13, 2023 7:02 pm

A volley of 3 stands for duty, honor and sacrifice. Empty casings can be included in the folded flag. (“Taking a step back does not relieve you of your oath.”)

To my fellow veterans, let’s make our actions meaningful, much like the late Sen. John McCain did: Awarded a Silver Star, Legion of Merit (only other medal with neck-tie order, CMH), Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star (3) with valor, Purple Heart (2), CAR and other meritorious awards including POW Medal.

Thank you to all that participated.


Newsletter Sign Up

* indicates required


Latest Streaming