Boots on the Ground in Newport honors veterans who lost their lives since 9/11

NEWPORT, R.I. (WLNE) — Memorial Day is all about honoring those who have lost their lives for our country’s freedom.

Gold Star father Richard August said his son, Cpt. Matthew J. August, was the first Rhode Islander killed in action while serving in Iraq.

“He actually laid down his life, he stopped, his convoy went himself to check out a suspicious area when he was killed,” August told ABC 6 News.

August said the Boots on the Ground for Heroes Memorial Service reminds people of the meaning of Memorial Day.

“Some of them don’t even know what it’s about except hot dogs or go to the beach, and yet Memorial Day was established to honor those of our nation who have made the ultimate sacrifice,” he said.

The memorial includes 7,026 boots accompanied by American flags to represent all of the Rhode Islanders and Americans who have served and been killed in action post 9/11.

Gold Star mother Lynn St. Jermain-Lundh said her son, Marine Corp. Brian St. Jermain, was killed in action in Iraq in 2006.

“My son absolutely loved what he did, he lived for what he did, so that gives me some peace,” said Jermain-Lundh.

She said people should take time this Memorial Day to think of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

“Just take some time over the weekend, come here, come to Ford Adam’s State Park, go to the cemetery, read the names, say the names out loud because it’s been said before, you die twice, once when you stop breathing, and then again when your name has been said for the last time,” she said.

The Boots on the Ground for Heroes Memorial will be open to the public through Monday evening.

Categories: Newport, News, Rhode Island