Sunday, November 11, 2007
The dedication of Rhode Island's WWII Memorial began on a cool, sparkling bright, New England autumn afternoon with a large marching band leading a parade of WWII, Korean and Vietnam veterans from the State Capital to Memorial Park at the head of Narragansett Bay. Taking a place of honor among the WWI and Korean War Memorials, the WWII Memorial contains the names of all 2,562 Rhode Islanders who gave their lives for their country as well as a world map marking all major battles. The memorial was sculpted by Rhode Islander, Felix deWeldon, whose previous works include the Marine Corps' Iwo Jima monument in Arlington.
The dedication was conducted by Acting Memorial Committee Chairman Lieutenant General Reginald Centracchio, who out of consideration for the WWII veterans and other elderly in attendance, kept all remarks to less than three minutes, as like a curtain, the cold New England darkness descended. It is truly a fitting memorial to be admired by many generations to come thanks to the vision and dedication of Memorial Chairman Joseph T. Corrente, a WWII and Korean Veteran and member of the DAV. The following day, a holiday, found many people returning to peruse and touch the names etched in granite and to study the map of where they had died.AWONers in attendance included Nancy Rougvie and Elaine Lonigan from Rhode Island, Charlie Vallor and Pat Armstrong from California, and Dave Colinan from Sarasota all of whom had trouble finding each other in the immense crowd during and after the dedication. Unfortunately Pat and Charlie were swallowed up in the melee following the ceremony. However, Nancy, Elaine and Dave did meet for a nice long dinner.
Joseph T. Corrente, WWII and Korean Vet and Chairman of the Committee.
Engraved names of the 2,562 Rhode Island WWII Dead.
The Rhode Island WWII Memorial.
AWONers Nancy Rougvie of Providence and Dave Colinan of Sarasota, FL.
Many thanks for the photos and text to Dave Colinan.
Additional photos may be viewed here: http://www.rimemorial.shutterfly.com