On Monday, May 30th, the Newport community came together at Storer Park in remembrance of the thousands of men and women lost at sea while serving our great country.
Within the crowd of over 150 attendees, all branches of the military were represented by active or retired members of the US Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, Merchant Marines, and Army. The current Officer Development School class was also in attendance.
Post 406 Senior Vice Commander, Capt. Mark Turner, USN Ret. provided opening remarks before the presentation of colors by a Joint Color Guard comprised of active duty Sailors from Newport Naval Station and Coast Guardsmen from U.S. Coast Guard Station Castle Hill.
Christine Stevenson provided an acapella rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner and Reverend Kevin Beesley, Rector of Saint John the Evangelist Church led in an opening prayer. Remarks were provided by Post 406 Commander Anselm Richards; Chief Warrant Officer D.J. Holcomb, Commanding Officer USCG Station Castle Hill; and the keynote address was delivered by Capt. Dan Daglio, USN Ret. who brought particular attention to the over 9,500 Merchant Marines that were lost during WWII, a group that often is overlooked by those not familiar with the dangers they faced moving essential cargo for troops in both the European and Pacific operational theaters.
Attendees then cast over 100 long stem, white and red roses into Newport Harbor while the Newport Fire Department’s Marine Unit provided a water salute. Flowers were generously donated by What Cheer Flower Farm in Providence, RI.
Christine Stevenson then led attendees in singing “Eternal Father, Strong to Save”, a traditional Navy hymn for memorials and funerals. Kimberly Shaw from Bugles Across America filled Storer Park with the somber notes of “Taps” before Rev. Beesely closed with a final benediction.
Post 406 is thankful for all the members of the greater Newport community that came together to make this Memorial Day ceremony a success!