The first two days of the Memorial Day weekend were a washout – but the same decided to shine on Rhode Island Monday, just in time for cities and towns to hold their Memorial Day parades.
The main event was at the Rhode Island Veterans Cemetery in Exeter,where the state’s top leaders gathered to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Several hundred people gathered under a big white tent at the Rhode Island Veterans Cemetery for the state’s 39th annual Memorial Day exercises. The crowd included the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, several cabinet members and the state’s entire congressional delegation.
Congressman David Cicilline said while Memorial Day is celebrated on only one day of the year, the benefits society derives from the benefit of America’s fallen warriors is enjoyed every day.
"The reality is each and every day that we wake up in the freest, strongest country in the world we are enduring the benefits of their sacrifice. And so as we mark this day as the day we stop and honor those who have fallen we benefit from their service every single day."
This year’s service was dedicated to the memory of Lieutenant Robert Thorpe, a Cranston native who was beheaded by the Japanese during World War II. He had refused to give up anything but his name, rank and serial number.