Islanders hope sun will shine on Memorial Day parade
Plans are underway for the annual Memorial Day parade through Jamestown. The parade and surrounding services will commemorate the lives of the 14 Jamestown-related military veterans who died during the past year. These will be added to the list of over 425 deceased veterans on the rolls compiled over the years by the local posts of the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW).
Flag raising at Veterans
The day will begin at 7 a.m. when island veterans invite anyone interested in volunteering to help raise the casket flags at Veterans Memorial Square at East Ferry. Weather permitting, they will install the removable, 15-foot poles and raise approximately 100 casket flags, each embossed on a border with the name of a local deceased veteran. Post members will return at 3 p.m. to lower and remove the flags.
One new casket flag being raised on Monday will be in memory of Mary Newhall Maxwell who died earlier this year. Maxwell served as a Yeoman First Class in the Waves during World War II and was the mother of islander Anne Livingston.
The flags are provided by the veterans' families and any family who wishes to provide a casket flag may contact officers of the Legion and VFW. The flags are stored at the Grange/Senior Center on West Street for use at veterans' ceremonies.
The parade will start at the Lawn Avenue School where participants will line up at 9:30 a.m. Marchers will step off at 10 a.m. going south from the school to Narragansett Avenue. This year there will not be a traditionally scheduled stop at the Four Corners. The parade will bypass the cemetery and the graveside services held there due to the construction.
The parade will head east down Narragansett Avenue to the waterfront for a ceremony at the Veterans Memorial Square.
Ceremony at Veterans Memorial Square at East Ferry
American Legion committeeman and retired Army staff sergeant Jim McLaughlin plans to read the roll call of the veterans who died during the past year as part of the services. Speakers will include Retired U.S. Navy Captain Cliff Largess and VFW Post Commander and retired U.S. Marine Corps Colonel Bruce Livingston.
Also at the ceremony there will be invocations and benedictions, drum rolls, firing squad salutes, bugling of "Taps" and singing of the traditional version of the "Star Spangled Banner." Flowers will be placed on the water to memorialize all those service personnel lost at sea.
In case of rain, the ceremony will be held at the Community Center.
The parade and ceremonies will include marching and riding veterans, clergy from all island churches, police, fire and rescue squad personnel with their emergency apparatus, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, local school students, town officials, community organization members, and the Jamestown Community Band. Veterans Bill Murphy and Peter Drury will serve as the parade marshals.
Everyone is invited to join in the Memorial Day parade. Participants are reminded that formation will begin at 9:30 a.m. and the parade will step off at the Lawn Avenue School at 10 a.m. As usual, anyone interested in honoring the veterans of Jamestown and the nation are invited to line the parade route as they annually do.
Traffic and parking
The Jamestown Police Department reported that Narragansett Avenue from North Main Road at the Four Corners east to East Ferry, will be closed to parking on both sides of the road during the parade. Motorists need to be prepared for short traffic interruptions along the parade route, and at side streets in the immediate area.