Two pictures of veterans standing next to a jeep.

Reporting from the Cranston Veterans Day Parade…

Many thanks to John A. Cianci and Jeff Gross for creating a presence for RINewsToday and their respective armed services. John A. Cianci, is our Veterans column writer, and Department Veterans Service Officer, Italian American War Veterans (ITAM) – Jeff Gross, feature writer for RINewsToday is a former United State Coast Guard Marine Science Technician 2nd Class. Jeff was with the USCG Castle Hill Newport and Aids to Navigation Team Bristol which had boats and trucks in the parade. They also escorted Leonard “Len” Lenzen, a WWII “Seabees” Combat Veteran.

On the side of John’s jeep was the RINewsToday banner! We were very proud of our participation.

The parade begin at the Legion Bowl on Park Avenue, continued past City Hall up to Heyward Street, and then down Rolfe Square, coursing a 1.2 mile route.

Photo courtesy Mayor Hopkins

Mayor Kenneth J. Hopkins is credited with bringing the parade back, saying that after a decades-long hiatus, the City of Cranston is pleased to bring back the tradition of honoring our great veterans for their service to our Country.

Participants include Cranston City Council members, US Military veterans, members of Cranston’s General Assembly Delegation, the Cranston High School East and Cranston High School West Marching Bands.

Activities included a Wreath Laying ceremony at the Field Cannon & Flags area at the end of Rolfe Street, next to the Park Cinema.

Serving the honor of Grand Marshal was retired Army Lt. Col. David Accetta, an alumnus of Cranston West and the University of Rhode Island who served in Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Other participants included the Cranston Police and Fire honor guards, the Cranston Rotary Club, Special Olympics Rhode Island, local Boy and Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, the U.S. Naval Sea Cadets, local elementary school students, a local children’s dance group, and Billy DeAngelus from Twin Oaks, who drove an antique fire truck.

Speeches, an invocation, music and the beauty of a cool sunny day made this year’s NEW tradition one that’s great to see back in Cranston – and may it live and be well for generations that come after us.

Photos: Thank you to Jeff, John, Veronica Rego, Nicole Renzulli and Mayor Hopkins…


  1. Raymond cribari on November 13, 2021 at 5:46 am

    In 1964 the largest air lift was completed by moving the entire 2nd armored division from ft hood Texas to Germany.we spent three months in Germany thereby proving we were combat ready and able to defend our allies.

  2. John Anthony Cianci on November 12, 2021 at 11:07 am

    It was an honor to be Lenny’s driver for the parade and absorb Lenny’s military legacy, which included driving a “deuce and half” truck off the ship as a Seabee on D Day-:
    D-Day – 6 June 1944 – was the largest amphibious invasion in the history of warfare. The statistics of D-Day, codenamed Operation Overlord, are staggering. The Allies used over 5,000 ships and landing craft to land more than 150,000 troops on five beaches in Normandy.

    • Mayor Ken Hopkins on November 12, 2021 at 5:38 pm

      Great day for the City of Cranston in honoring our veterans.?