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Memorial Day Parade Gathers City to Honor Soldiers’ Sacrifice

This year's Memorial Day Parade in Warwick starts at 9:15 a.m. at Bishop Hendriken School.
This year’s Memorial Day Parade in Warwick starts at 9:15 a.m. at Bishop Hendriken School.

Warwick, RI – This year’s Memorial Day Parade starts at 9:15 a.m. Monday at Bishop Hendriken School, bringing together a community-spanning collection of visual and musical treats.

Tony Rodrigues, an organizer for the parade, has been helping to make the annual observance of men and women who gave their lives in service to the country for the last 16 years.

Rodrigues said he stepped up when the late Lenny Malo asked for volunteers to help revitalize the parade. “It was almost nothing,” at the time, Rodrigues said, “I told him, ‘I’ll help ya.’ ”

The parade has since resurged. This year, Rodrigues said, they’ve got the city’s three high school bands marching, the Blue Star Mothers, the VFW Honor Guard,  and the American Legion Shields Post 43 and their recently restored vintage “40 & 8” truck.

Participants also include the Warwick Police Color Guard, Police Cadet Honor Guard, a marching show by the Don Rodrigues Karate Studio students, members of local Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops, Warwick Fire Department fire trucks, classic cars and equipment from T.F. Green Airport.

Christine A. Kelley, the first woman promoted to Major in the Warwick Police Department, has been named the Grand Marshal for the parade.

“Altogether, this should be a real good-sized parade,” Rodrigues said. He noted that there’s still room for more groups to march.

“Show up that morning and we will gladly fit them into one of the divisions,” Rodrigues said.

Rodrigues also encouraged veterans to come out for the parade. “We would like all the veterans, if they can come, and march in the parade, because that’s what it’s all about,” he said.

From Bishop Hendriken, the parade travels south down Warwick Avenue, turning west on West Shore Road (Rte. 117) and ends at Warwick Vets High School. The parade generally takes an hour; chairs and a podium will be set up in front of Warwick Vets for officials to present remarks at about 10:30 or 11 a.m.

Rodrigues was reluctant to leave the spotlight pointed solely at himself. The following people also helped him organize the parade, he said:

Paul Kelly

Jim Burrows

Robert Baggesen

Joe Koole

Kevin Gilcrest

Brenda Gomes

Eddie Johnson

Ken Wilkinson

Camille Vella-Wilkinson

Donna Travis

Fred Adams

Alston Davis


Rob Borkowski
Author: Rob Borkowski

Rob has worked as reporter and editor for several publications, including The Kent County Daily Times and Coventry Courier, before working for Gatehouse in MA then moving home with Patch Media. Now he's publisher and editor of Contact him at [email protected] with tips, press releases, advertising inquiries, and concerns.

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