Despite being the smallest state, over 60,000 Veterans are known to be buried within our borders, dispersed throughout over 2,400 cemeteries. In Newport, there are at least 1,200 Veteran graves, including some of the oldest in the state, going back to pre-Revolutionary times. VFW Post 406 places flags on approximately 1/2 of these graves. The remainder are flagged by several groups, including the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW), the members of Trinty Church and the Touro Synagogue, and several other small groups.
The reason why there are “at least 1,200” Veterans is that not all Veterans that are buried in Newport have been identified as such. While it is common now for the families of recently deceased Veterans to receive burial markers from the Department of Veteran Affairs to place on graves, it hasn’t always been. Previously, many Veterans would have an inscription on their gravestone that would indicate their branch of service, and sometimes the details of the units they served with. Many had no indication at all.
Due to recent efforts by the State of Rhode Island Office of Veteran Services to gather information from multiple sources, they have shed new light on these deceased Veterans who wouldn’t have otherwise been recognized. in 2021 we were able to mark the graves of approximately 400 Veterans with American Flags. This year we placed flags on over 650 graves, building on the research that the State Veteran Services has done.
If you have knowledge of any of the Veterans buried in Newport, or would like to help with future efforts to honor them, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact our flagging OIC, Paul Radion, at email@example.com