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by Ann Clanton, contributing writer
WaterFire’s Salute to Veterans was held on Saturday in collaboration with the Rhode Island Department of Veterans Affairs. The event was a moving tribute and one of the most popular Waterfires of the season, with ceremonies held at the WaterPlace basin area, with flags all around.
A World War II Veteran and subject of an upcoming PBS documentary led a procession of veterans carrying torches in a moving ceremony. A speaking program followed the torch procession from Station Park to the Basin. Each Veteran stood stoically in position around the Basin while patriotic music filled the air at the ceremony.
Now in its eleventh year, Waterfire’s Salute honors and remembers the active and reserve military personnel, and their families for their service. Rhode Island Veterans Affairs Director, Kasim Yarn, presided over a speaking program featuring Governor Dan McKee, Rhode Island General Treasurer James Diossa, and Providence Mayor Brett Smiley, among other state officials. Rhode Island’s Army Reserve Unit, the Military Band and bagpipers provided the entertainment. The full lighting and program were sponsored by Rhode Island Energy and the Manchester Street Station.
Ann-Allison Clanton was born and raised in Providence, Rhode Island. As principal of Ann Clanton Communications, Ann has more than two decades of experience as a communications and public affairs consultant. She has written features and profiles articles for the Providence American Newspaper and Ethnic Online Magazine.
Among the notable persons interviewed include former U. S. Ambassador Andrew Young, Dr. Cornell West, former Florida Congressman Allen West (R-FL) and Ringling Brothers and Barnum Bailey Circus first African American Ringmaster, Johnathan Lee Iverson.
Ann is the founder of the Rhode Island Black Film Festival and a founding member of the Southern New England Association of Black Journalists.
You didn’t travel the river walk all the way down to the monuments .
A lot was going on, on bridges.