The WaterFire Salute to Veterans is scheduled to take place on November 9, 2013. It will be the first-ever community-wide celebration of Veterans on such a large scale in Rhode Island. This WaterFire will be a full WaterFire event lighting and solely devoted to saluting and honoring our Veterans and all military personnel of the United States and their families. Our Gold Star Sponsor for the evening is Alex and Ani | Charity by Design. Bronze Star Sponsors: Chase Canopy Company Inc. and Citizens Bank; Media Sponsor: The Rhode Island Broadcasters Association.
The Salute to Veterans Resource Fair on Steeple Street
The Veterans Resource Fair will open at 3:30 PM and be at the center of the installation on Steeple Street transforming it into an informational and educational center about issues Veterans can face after serving in the military.
WaterFire hopes to educate the public that there are many issues for returning Vets and that they need to be part of ensuring that they have the services and support they need when they return to civilian life.
WaterFire also hopes to showcase the many organizations currently offering services to deployed returning and retired Vets by sharing the WaterFire platform and giving the largest audience we are capable of.
Torch procession and WaterFire Lighting Ceremony
Banneker Industries helps to kick off the WaterFire lighting with a 100 Veteran Torch Procession and 200 Veteran Ring of Fire in Waterplace Basin. WaterFire invites you to join us just after sunset as Veterans of our community process into the basin led by the RI Professional Firefighters Pipes and Drums. Here they will join their brothers and sisters in arms to surround the basin in a ring of fire ceremony with a presentation of the colors as the National Anthem is played by the Navy Band Northeast and the Army 88th Band on the basin stage.
Events in Memorial Park
Missing Man Table
The Missing Man Table serves to honor the memory of fallen, missing or imprisoned military service members. Every piece of this touching memorial has a special meaning and we invite you to join us in taking a moment to think about our soldiers that are no longer with us or are missing.
The Tomb Stone used in the ceremony represents the cumulative graves of every man and woman who has served and died for this country. The Battlefield Cross or Battle Cross is a symbolic replacement of a cross on the battlefield or at the base camp for a soldier who has been killed. The Soldiers Cross is made up of the soldier’s rifle with its muzzle buried in the ground, a helmet on top, dog tags hanging from the rifle and the boots of the fallen soldier next to it. The folded American Flag represents the people, of a proud and grateful nation, for whom the soldier fought and died for.
The Missing Man Table and the Soldiers Cross are presented by Rolling Thunder® Inc., RI Chapter 1.
Starry, Starry Night
Throughout the evening, the Starry, Starry Night installation in Memorial Park at WaterFire is will be filled with blue, glowing stars representing Rhode Island’s Blue Star families and softly lit luminaria that cover the park floor. Visitors throughout the night will bring their hopes and dedications to Rhode Island families who have a Veteran in their family and affix them to these lights of the night. In this way WaterFire honor our Veterans by transforming the Starry, Starry Night field into an illuminated park filed with celebratory thanks and wishes for our Veterans.
Visit the WaterFire Salute to Veterans event site for more details about this great event devoted to saluting and honoring our Veterans and all military personnel of the United States and their families.
About the author
I've worked at WaterFire Providence since 2003. For the first 9 years of my career, I worked in the Production Shop learning all of the details that go into the physical production of the event. In 2012 transitioned to the role of managing WaterFire's social media and web presence. I now head up WaterFire Providence's digital projects including, web, social, databases, and our physical IT infrastructure.