PROVIDENCE, R.I (WLNE) – Lt. Governor McKee was joined by Governor Raimondo and other military officials on Monday to honor the state’s fallen soldiers during a virtual wreath-laying ceremony.
The ceremony took place in the Garen of Heroes, which is located on the southwest lawn on the statehouse and pays tribute to the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for the country since September 11, 2001.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and to protect the well-being of veterans, military families, and others who would normally participate, the ceremony was conducted without an audience.
The event featured remarks from Lt. Governor McKee, Governor Raimondo, and the RI Director of Veterans Affairs, Kasim Yarn.
Following the remarks, Major General Christopher Callahan, Adjutant General and Commanding Officer of the RI National Guard, laid a wreath on the Garden of Heroes monument.
The monument is engraved with the names of The Ocean State’s fallen heroes.
The event concluded with the playing of taps by First Sergeant Anthony Abatecola of the RI National Guard.
The Capitol TV broadcasts will begin on the day the ceremony is normally held and will replay through Memorial Day Weekend:
Thursday, May 21, 2020 at 10:00 a.m.
Thursday, May 21, 2020 at 9:00 p.m.
Friday, May 22, 2020 at 10:00 a.m.
“While this Memorial Day will look a little different as we practice social distancing to keep Rhode Islanders safe, our state will continue to find ways to pay tribute to the courageous men and women who gave their lives to defend our nation,” said Lt. Governor McKee.
“To the families and friends of Rhode Island’s fallen heroes who will be watching the wreath-laying ceremony at home: Our hearts are with you this Memorial Day, and we look forward to when we can be together again to honor the memory of your loved ones”, he continued.
Since September 11, 2001, 29 Rhode Island military members have given their lives in defense of the country:
SGT Gregory A. Belanger, SSG Joseph Camara, SGT Charles T. Caldwell, SPC Michael Andrade, CW5 Sharon T. Swartworth, CPT Matthew J. August, SFC Curtis Mancini, MSG Richard L. Ferguson, L/CPL Matthew K. Serio, CPT Christopher S. Cash, L/CPL John J. Van Gyzen IV, SSG Christopher S. Potts, L/CPL Holly A. Charette, 2LT Matthew S. Coutu, SGT Dennis J. Flanagan, SGT Brian R. St. Germain, SSG Dale James Kelly, Jr., SGT Moises Jazmin, SGT Michael R. Weidemann, PS3 Ronald A. Gill, Jr., LTJG Francis L. Toner IV, PFC Kyle J. Coutu, SGT Michael F. Paranzino, SPC Dennis C. Poulin, L/CPL Nicholas D. Schiavoni, SGT Dennis P. Weichel, Jr., L/CPL Abraham Tarwoe, SSG Timothy R. McGill and 1 SG P. Andrew McKenna.