Above: Troop 2 scouts “roast” marshmallows. Troop 2 EG was founded 100 years ago this year.
Video and lots of photos
By Kate Foster
Summer in East Greenwich started off with a bang as the town held another successful Memorial Day Parade. Along the parade route, generations of onlookers gathered to watch the procession of historic militias, the high school band, scout groups, and other marchers.
Memorial Day may be the unofficial kickoff of summer but the East Greenwich parade focuses on honoring those who gave their lives in service to our country. From veterans who fought years ago to their grandchildren who were watching the parade for the first time, there was a sense of community. People came to catch up with old friends and reminisce about parades past.
Gov. Dan McKee and Lt. Gov. Sabina Matos marched in Monday’s parade along with all five members of the EG Town Council – President Mark Schwager, Vice President Mike Donegan, Caryn Corenthal, Renu Englehart and Mike Zarrella – and the School Committee’s Alyson Powell, Gene Quinn, Kevin Murphy and Nicole Bucka.
Other notable participants were John Romano, 98, Navy veteran of WWII and the wars in Korea and Vietnam; and Ronald Sullman, 77, of the Kentish Guard. Sullman noted he’s been a member of the Kentish Guard for 63 years.
During his speech, Grand Marshal James Essex mentioned how heartened he was with the number of many young marching in the parade. He gave shoutouts to parade organizers and to those who have kept the parade tradition alive. He also spoke with solemnity of the importance of remembering those men and women who died while serving in the military. Following Essex at the podium, Cole Middle School 8th grader Sophia Speranza offered a flawless recitation of the Gettysburg Address, President Lincoln’s short speech at the battlefield of Gettysburg, which saw a staggering 50,000 casualties.
Other participants included Master of Ceremonies Patrick Donovan, volunteer curator of the Varnum Armory Museum. The Rev. Tim Rich of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church provided the invocation and benediction. Avenger Band buglers Duncan Kling and Griffin Gee played taps at the WWII memorial at First and Cliff streets and Will Penhall and Darius Anvar played taps at Town Hall.
East Greenwich has held a Memorial Day Parade since at least 1893, when Lyman Aylesworth served as grand marshal.
Kate Foster is a freshman at East Greenwich High School.