Veterans’ Day events throughout the Blackstone Valley, including Woonsocket, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, Cumberland and Lincoln, begin this weekend before the holiday and continue through Monday.
In November 1919, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Nov. 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day. The original concept for the celebration was for a day observed with parades and public meetings, and a brief suspension of business beginning at 11 a.m.
Armistice Day commemorates the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on June 28, 1919, which ended World War I. It went into effect on the eleventh day, at the eleventh hour of the eleventh month.
A Veterans’ Day ceremony will be held at the Museum of Work and Culture Monday at 11 a.m. The ceremony will focus on World War II, with speakers, a flag-raising ceremony, playing of taps and a moment of silence. Richard Schatz, president of the United Veterans Council of Woonsocket, and Veterans Agent Ernest Boisvert will attend, and all the city’s veterans and the general public are also invited. The ceremony will also include the official opening of the “Ghost Army” exhibit at the museum, which will open after the ceremony, with regular admission at $8 for adults and $6 for kids and seniors.
The Pawtucket Veterans Council, an umbrella organization for local veterans groups, will conduct its annual Veterans’ Day ceremony and wreath-laying Monday at 11 a.m. at Veterans Memorial Park, on the corner of Roosevelt and Exchange streets, adjacent to City Hall.
Members of the state congressional delegation, state legislators, the Pawtucket City Council and Pawtucket School Committee, as well as members of the public, particularly veterans, are invited.
Co-chairmen for the event are Capt. James Robbins, president of the Pawtucket Veterans Council; Commander Maurice Trottier of the Major Walter G. Gatchell VFW Post 306; and Jack Lucas, a state officer of the Department of Rhode Island, American Legion, who will act as emcee. Penelope Trottier, senior vice president of the Rhode Island VFW Ladies Auxiliary and other members of the Gatchell Post Auxiliary, will act as aides. Mayor Donald Grebien will give remarks. In the event of inclement weather, the ceremony will be held at the Gatchell Post, 159 Fountain St., which will host collations after the ceremony.
A memorial honoring the life and service of Army Specialist Dennis C. Poulin will be dedicated in a ceremony to be held on Monday at 2 p.m. at the Pawtucket War Veterans Memorial (“Scallop Shell”) at the Armistice Boulevard entrance to Slater Park.
The ceremony will include opening and closing prayers, the Pledge of Allegiance and the singing of the National Anthem by 12-year-old Shayna Lemois, who has a brother in active military service overseas. Remarks will be given by Mayor Grebien, City Councilor Albert J. Vitali Jr. and Jim Robbins, president of the Rhode Island Disabled American Veterans.
Specialist Poulin, a Pawtucket native, was deployed as a gunner with the Massachusetts National Guard during Operation Enduring Freedom when his vehicle overturned in the Konar province of Afghanistan. He was taken to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, where he succumbed to his injuries on March 31, 2011. He was 26 years old.
A stone monument honoring Poulin’s service, with contributions from Pawtucket Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation, Warren Monument, friends and family will be dedicated at the ceremony with participation by his mother, Doris Poulin, of Pawtucket, and other family members and friends.
A Veterans’ Day Ceremony sponsored by the Central Falls Veterans Council will be held Monday at 11 a.m. at the Central Falls Veterans Memorial located at the Central Falls Adams Memorial Free Public Library in Central Falls.
American Legion Post #10, which serves veterans in and around the local community, will hold a Veterans’ Day ceremony Monday at 10 a.m. at the post home, 830 Willett Ave., Riverside.
Christ Episcopal Church, 1645 Lonsdale Ave., will hold a special service for veterans on Sunday at 10 a.m. All veterans and their families are invited to attend a reception following the service in the parish hall.
The Cumberland Veterans Council will hold its annual Veterans’ Day ceremony on Monday at 11 a.m., on the Monastery grounds, 1464 Diamond Hill Road. In case of rain, the ceremony will be held at the American Legion Post 14, 695 Broad St. All are welcome.
The Leclair Kozlik Logan Bassett VFW Post # 6342 will hold a short Veterans’ Day ceremony Monday at 11 a.m. at the post home, 98 School St., Forestdale. A collation will follow.
The Burrillville Allied Veterans Council, which includes American Legion Posts 18 and 88, and VFW Post 1023, will be conducting a ceremony Monday to honor veterans at 11 a.m. at the Veterans’ Park on the Bridgeway in Pascoag. All members of the public are welcome, veterans or not.
The Veterans’ Day Parade will kick off Sunday at 2 p.m. from the North Uxbridge Baptist Church and ends at the Town Common with a ceremony.
A Veterans’ Day ceremony will be held at the Bellingham Library Monday to honor those who served. The doors will open at 10:30 a.m. and the ceremony will start promptly at 11 a.m.
The ceremony will feature three veterans, all Bellingham High School graduates and student athletes.
They include Brandon Perella of the Bellingham Police Department, a U.S. Navy veteran; James Woods of the Massachusetts State Police, a U.S. Army veteran; and Norman Stankimas of the Massachusetts State Police, a U.S. Army veteran.
A color guard from the Blackstone Valley Young Marines will present the colors. Light refreshments will be served.
Registration is preferred but not necessary.
Throughout Veterans Day the library will be collecting items for Veterans Inc., a homeless shelter for veterans located in Worcester. Items needed include toiletries, new clothing and bath items, to name a few.
A WaterFire Salute to Veterans will be held today in Providence. It is the first large-scale community-wide celebration of veterans in Rhode Island.
The WaterFire Salute to Veterans is set for sunset, which is at 4:31 p.m.
A 100-Veteran Torch Procession and 200-Veteran Ring of Fire in Waterplace Basin will start at 5 p.m., led by the Rhode Island Professional Firefighters Pipes and Drums.
RIPTA will provide free rides to veterans from 2 to 10 p.m.
Featured at the lighting, which is sponsored by Alex & Ani, will be tents providing clinicians and disability benefits specialists, blue stars and luminaria to honor the Blue Star Families and gold stars to recognize Gold Star Families in Memorial Park, a Veterans Resource Fair on Steeple Street, ceremonies at 6:30 p.m. at the WWI, WWII and Korean War memorials downtown, a flotilla of three memorial vessels between 8 and 8:30 p.m. at which guests are invited to toss red, white and blue carnations, and braziers sponsored in memory of individual veterans.