NORTH SMITHFIELD – A ceremony honoring the sacrifices of those who lost their lives in service to the country, dedicated to one local veteran who died last month, brought dozens of residents to Memorial Town Hall on Monday, May 31.
Although rain stopped a parade originally scheduled to take place Monday morning, Leclaire Kozlik Bassett Logan Post 6342 still held the Memorial Day commemoration with a brief speaking engagement and performance by the North Smithfield High School band.
“I’m glad a lot of people came out today,” said Rep. Brian Newberry. “I always find it difficult on this day to speak, because this is a solemn occasion. It’s not a time to celebrate. It’s a time to remember.”
Town Council President John Beauregard noted that gathering with family and friends on Memorial Day to enjoy and appreciate the freedom Americans have is also a way to honor those who stepped forward to protect it.
“That’s exactly why they made the sacrifices they did,” Beauregard said. “What they gave us is beyond our power to repay.”
“Freedom isn’t free,” said Town Administrator Paul Zwolenski. “We must remember the men and women who sacrificed so that we may enjoy these freedoms.”
The event honored the late Ernest Frappier, an Army veteran of the Vietnam War, Legacy Member of Post 6342 and the Amvets, and former State Commander, who died in May. Family members were scheduled to serve as honorary Grand Marshalls of the parade, on the 75th Anniversary of Post 6342 carrying on the Memorial Day tradition of honoring fallen comrades.
“He put his heart and soul into this VFW,” said Acting Commander David Thibault of Frappier. “He is going to be missed.”
Editor’s note: An original version of this gallery identified the man in the first photo as David Thibault instead of Farell McMillan. We apologize for the error.