Exeter, RI – Governor Lincoln D. Chafee and Secretary of State A. Ralph Mollis were joined Friday, June 20, 2014, at the Rhode Island Veterans Memorial Cemetery by Director, Sandra M. Powell, Department of Human Services and the Division of Veterans Affairs, as well as veterans' services organizations for a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Columbarium No. 3.
"This celebration marks the continuation of our efforts to serve our veterans and their families," Governor Chafee said. "The fine men and women in the military have sacrificed so much for our state. Rhode Island must be a state that honors and respects them by doing all we can both during and after their service."
The new columbarium, which is a cemetery building with vaults that house cremation urns, contains 2,160 niches. It is the third at the Rhode Island Veterans Cemetery. The construction project, which began in [August] 2013, was funded by a $658,000 federal grant awarded by the United States Department of Veteran Affairs.
"It brings me pride to be a part of this meaningful testament to Rhode Island's commitment to our fallen heroes," Secretary of State A. Ralph Mollis said. "I feel it is our responsibility to take care of the men and women who fought for our freedom, and the new columbarium is a beautiful final resting place for our veterans and their spouses."
"The Department of Human Services continues to be deeply dedicated to honoring our fallen heroes and their loved ones," said Director Powell. "The department was pleased to receive a federal grant from the VA to continue the tradition of remembering our veterans in a cemetery befitting of their service and sacrifice."
"The newest columbarium is just another example of this state's commitment to honoring the legacy of our fallen heroes, veterans, and their families through dignified military burial and inurnment services," said the division's Associate Director, Kim A. Ripoli. "It is fitting that in the 150th year of Arlington Cemetery, the Rhode Island Division of Veterans Affairs focuses on the future capacity to serve those who so nobly served us."
The Rhode Island Veterans Cemetery is located at 301 South County Trail, Exeter. The cemetery is open to the public to visit the cemetery grounds with its meditation garden, granite benches, and the 31 monuments dedicated to the veterans of specific wars and conflicts.