A year ago, the East Greenwich Memorial Day Parade had to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. By November, things were improved enough to allow for EG’s Veterans Day Parade to take place, albeit without the usual ceremonies. Happily, 2021 marks the return of the town’s annual Memorial Day Parade
Here are all the details:
The Town of East Greenwich proudly announces the annual Memorial Day Parade on Monday, May 31, which will step off at 10 a.m. from Academy Field.
The parade will wind through the Hill and Harbor District by way of Mawney Street. It will then continue to First Avenue (Route 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. Patrick Donovan, Curator of the Varnum Armory Museum, will preside as the Master of Ceremonies. The Grand Marshall is Mr. William R. McClintick, retired Navy commander and WWII veteran, who holds the title of East Greenwich’s oldest resident and retains the Boston Post Cane.
“Lone Piper” Aaron Lindo will lead the parade, which will feature East Greenwich 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 marching bands and various local groups showing their patriotic pride. Closing ceremonies will include a recitation of the Gettysburg Address.
This parade, and EG’s other parade on Veterans Day, is a long-time tradition by one of a handful of Rhode Island communities who 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, the day was a time 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.
Today, Memorial Day is an opportunity to honor and remember those men and woman who perished while serving in America’s military. On that 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.
This event has been vetted by the Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation. For further information, call Leigh Carney at (401) 886-8604 or (401) 261-7729.