The Town of East Greenwich proudly announces their annual Veterans Day Parade on Thursday, Nov. 11, at 10 a.m.
From Academy Field, the parade will wind through the historic district by way of Mawney Street and continue east on First Avenue (Route 401) for a brief wreath-laying ceremony near 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 around 11 a.m. Bob Houghtaling (the town’s drug and youth counselor) will preside as the master of ceremonies. Sgt. Christopher Callan has been selected as this year’s Grand Marshal (posthumously) in recognition of his 30 years of military service in the Navy, Army (Special Forces Green Berets) and the Rhode Island National Guard as well as a 15-year veteran of the East Greenwich Police Department. He will be represented by his family.
The “Lone Piper” Aaron Lindo will lead the procession which will feature police and fire honor guards, elected officials, veteran dignitaries and the always resplendent local historic militia groups, the Kentish Guards and Varnum Continentals. Spectators will be delighted by marching bands and various local groups showing their patriotic pride. Boy and Girl Scouts will march along with many local organizations displaying their patriotic spirit. Newly crowned Miss Rhode Island USA, Karly Laliberte, and Miss Rhode Island Teen USA, Sydney Jaiswal, will be present. The Blue Knights Law Enforcement motorcycle group will be joined by the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association and numerous classic and antique cars will delight spectators along Main Street. Local fire companies will display an outstanding array of antique fire trucks.
Any veteran and/or their family are invited to march by joining Jack Kelly and his group, Veterans Friends and Families, at Academy Field by 9:30 a.m.
All are welcome to gather in front of Town Hall for closing ceremonies, which will include a flyover by the 143rd Airlift Wing, R.I. Air National Guard, out of Quonset Point (weather permitting).
East Greenwich prides itself on being one of only a handful of Rhode Island communities to continue to sponsor this parade, honoring veterans of all wars. The holiday started as a day to reflect upon the heroism of those who died in our country’s service and was originally called Armistice Day. It fell on Nov. 11 because that is the anniversary of the signing of the end (armistice) of World War I in 1918. In 1954, the name of the holiday was changed to “Veterans Day” in order to account for all veterans in all wars.
There is NO RAIN DATE. In the event of inclement weather, a ceremony will be held inside the Swift Community Center, 121 Peirce St., at 10 a.m. including participants from Divisions 1 and 2. All are welcome as capacity allows for.