General Consul of France to Honor 3 RI World War II Veterans
Saturday, July 08, 2017
The three Rhode Islanders John Dunnigan, Raymond Gillis and Leo Heroux will receive the honor during a ceremony in front of the Rhode Island World War II Memorial on Friday, July 24 at 6 p.m.
First Lieutenant John J. Dunnigan
Born in Newport, Rhode Island, Technician Raymond Gillis enlisted in the Army Air Force on December 8th, 1941, the day after Pearl Harbor. Having received special training in new Pathfinder radar technology, Lieutenant Dunnigan was assigned as Group Leader Bombardier in the 351st Bombardment Group of the 8th Army Air Force. Serving in the Air Force from January 23rd 1943 to October 12th, 1945, First Lieutenant John J. Dunnigan served in several battles throughout France including: Paris, Caen, Chateauroux, Dijon, Tours, Cherbourg, Boulogne, Saumur and Saint Lo. After a raid in central Germany, First Lieutenant John Dunnigan received a presidential citation for his heroism as well as his, “Courage, coolness and skill.”
Technician Raymond Gillis
Born in Newport, Rhode Island, Technician Raymond Gillis was inducted in the army on December 28th, 1942 as part of the 965th Field Artillery Battery C. Technician Gillis worked as a telephone lineman for the forward observation post in the regions of Ardennes, Normandy and Northern France. While stationed in Normandy, the 965th Field Artillery Battery C was chosen to follow U.S. General George Patton to a nearby bridge, in which they were fired on before arrival. Technician Gillis and his team stayed in Normandy for several days with the General before continuing various missions in France.
Technician Gillis is a recipient of the American Service Medal, the Bronze Star Medal, the E-A-ME Service Medal and the Good Conduct Medal.
Private Leo Heroux
At age 19, Private Leo Heroux was assigned as an amphibious engineer in the Company A 48th Engineer Combat Battalion. A native from Lowell, Massachusetts, Private Heroux was stationed from March 8th 1943 to October 25th, 1945 where he cleaned beaches, built bridges and marked mine fields.
Private Heroux participated in several battles and campaigns in France during the war, particularly in the regions of Ardennes, Normandy, and Northern France. He has been a recipient of the European-African-Middle Eastern Medal, the Good Conduct Medal and the Croix de Guerre.
Bilingual in French and English, Private Heroux moved back to France in 1948 with his wife whom he met during the war. Today three of his children live near Avignon, France while another lives in Montreal, Canada.
The ceremony will feature Rose Weaver singing the national anthem and La Marseillaise and ceremonial music by the U.S. Coast Guard Brass Quintet.
The ceremony will conclude with a toast from a sabered bottle of Champagne presented by Robert Burke in honor of all RI veterans.
Related Slideshow: 25 Ways to Celebrate Veterans in New England - 2017
Operation Stand Down's Boots on the Ground Memorial
Operation Stand Down RI (OSDRI) will host the 2nd annual Boots on the Ground for Heroes Memorial this Memorial Day weekend from Friday, May 26 at 8 a.m. to Monday, May 29 at 2 p.m. Overall, OSDRI will place nearly 7,000 boots in the field by the Temple to Music at Roger Williams Park throughout the weekend.
On Sunday, May 28 there will be a Patriotic Concert by the RI National Guard 88th Army Band. The concert will begin at 6:30 p.m.
The event will honor all of Rhode Island's American heroes, who were killed in action defending the country during the war on terror, by marking their lives with a boot, flag, and name placard.
North Kingstown Wreath Laying and Parade
North Kingstown, RI
The North Kingstown Wreath laying ceremony will take place on Monday, May 29 at Civil War Memorial at North Kingstown Town Hall as well as at Veterans Memorial Park. The wreath laying ceremony will begin at 9 a.m.
Following the wreath-laying, there will be a Memorial Day parade at 10 a.m.
PHOTO: Presidio of Monterey/flickr
The Charlestown Parade begins on Sunday, May 28 at 1 p.m. starting from the Cross Mills on Old Post Road and ending at Ninigret Park.
Once at the park, there will be ceremonies and a performance by the Wakefield Concert Band at 3 p.m.
Ellsworth Maine Memorial Day Parade
Beginning on Monday, May 29 at 10 a.m. local marching bands will play patriotic tunes, ride on colorful floats while dressed in red, white and blue.
The parade will follow School St. to Main St. before ending at City Hall.
Foster Parade and Wreath Laying
The Foster Memorial Day Parade and wreath laying will kick off at 8:45 a.m. on Monday, May 29 from the Foster Center and North roads and go to the Ben Eddy Building.
Following the parade, there will also be a speaking program and the unveiling of a monument that is dedicated to World War II veterans who were originally from Foster.
Seekonk Memorial Day Parade
The Seekonk Memorial Day Parade kicks off at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 27 from Seekonk High School and ends at Dr. Kevin Hurley Middle School.
After the parade, there will be hot dogs and hamburgers at American Legion Post # 311 on 351 Fall River Avenue.
PHOTO: Fleet W/flickr
Avenue of Flags at Pawtuxet Memorial Park in Warwick
The Avenue of Flags at Pawtuxet Memorial Park in Warwick consists of over 300 American flags lining the streets in the park.
Hours for the Avenue of Flags are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. starting on Saturday and ending on Monday.
It is FREE.
Memorial Day Service at Togus National Cemetery
Togus National Cemetery will host a traditional Memorial Day Service on Monday, May 29 beginning at 8 a.m.
The service will pay tribute to fallen soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines with a wreath laying ceremony and much more.
PHOTO: Togus National Cemetery/ nps.gov
Pawtucket Veterans' Council Ceremony
The Pawtucket Veterans' Council Ceremony will take place on Monday, May 29 at 11 a.m. at Veterans Memorial Park at Roosevelt Avenue and Exchange Street.
Events will be led by Capt. James Hollis, Commander Raymond Welch, Penny Trottier, Bob Balthazard, president of the Fleet Reserve, John Gallo, Maurice Trottier, Leo Courtois and Ted Gerrard. Commander Jack Lucas will act as emcee.
North Providence Parade
North Providence, RI
The North Providence Memorial Day Parade begins at 1 p.m. on Monday, May 29 starting at North Providence High School on Mineral Spring Avenue and ending at Governor John Notte Jr. Park.
The parade will be followed by a short ceremony and then food and entertainment in the park from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Battleship Cove Memorial Day Ceremony
Fall River, MA
Battleship Cove in Fall River will host an observance at noon on Monday, May 29 to honor and remember the men and women who dedicated and dedicate their lives to protecting the country.
The ceremony will consist of the raising of the flag from half-staff as well as a 21 gun salute.
The ceremony is FREE and open to the public.
In 1868, the United States government formally instituted Memorial Day as a national remembrance of the fallen soldiers from the Civil War of 1861-1865.
At Mystic Seaport, Decoration Day ceremonies are set in 1876. In the morning, visitors are invited to the Fishtown Chapel to witness the memorials laid for local Civil War soldiers.
At midday, all are welcome inside the Greenmanville Church for a brief service complete with sermon and hymns. A colour guard will lead everyone to the waterfront, where wreaths are laid for the artillery and the Navy.
In the afternoon, there will be a presentation by the musicians of the Museum’s Chantey Program illustrating the different roles of music on the home-front, in camp, and on the field – or sea – of battle during wartime.
Memorial Day Remembrance at Hubbardton Battle Field
At noon on Monday, May 29, battlefield flags will be raised to full-mast and tribute will be paid at the battle monument to the soldiers of Hubbardton.
The ceremony will go from 12 p.m. to 12:15 p.m.
Shrewsbury Memorial Day Parade
The Shrewsbury Memorial Day Parade will start at 9:30 a.m. on Monday from the Richard Carney Municipal Office Building and will make several stops along the way.
The parade stops at the Soldier's Statue in front of the Police Station on Maple Ave, the War Memorial at the Town Center and at the Veterans Lot at Mountain View Cemetery.
Following the parade, there will be a keynote address from retired Army Colonel John P. Collins (pictured).
Veterans Memorial Day Cruise
Celebrate Memorial Day on the water with this Memorial Day cruise on the Songo River Queen II.
Veterans or Active Duty Service men or women, and their immediate family get on for free.
The cruise goes from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Free Admission for Vets to Tower Hill Botanic Gardens
Tower Hill Botanic Garden is allowing veterans and military personnel in for free on Memorial Day with a valid military ID.
Up to five family members will receive 20 percent off their entry fee.
Visitors can enjoy the spring blooms of the gardens, hikes through the surrounding woodlands, the fully accessible Garden Within Reach, views of Mt. Wachusett, art exhibits, the Garden Shop, Twigs Cafe, the Wild Rumpus Stickwork Exhibit by internationally renowned artist Patrick Dougherty, and more.
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