There were wreath-laying ceremonies and parades all over Rhode Island Monday in honor of Veterans Day. But perhaps none was more poignant than one in Pawtucket.
About 200 people gathered in Pawtucket’s Slater Park for the dedication of a granite monument in memory of Army Specialist Dennis Poulin. Poulin, a native of Pawtucket, died in Afghanistan two-and-a-half years ago as the result of a rollover accident. He was 26. His mother, Doris Poulin, said she’s overwhelmed by the honor bestowed on her son.
Throughout the state Monday there were parades and wreath-laying ceremonies to honor the veterans who have passed away. For the living there were free meals at several local restaurants.
Fire and Ice Restaurant at Providence Place Mall has been serving up free meals to veterans on Veterans Day for the past three years. This year, they expanded the freebie to include immediate family members as well. Restaurant manager Brian Ahlquist said it’s their way of saying thanks to those who have served out country in uniform.
The Rhode Island National Guard said it has had to cancel its participation in all of the Columbus Day events. That includes the Columbus Day parade on Federal Hill.
Spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Parente said there are 15 events on the calendar for next month, including some for Veteran’s Day. He said if the partial federal shutdown stretches into Veterans Day, the National Guard will do what it can to have a presence.