PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Lt. Governor Daniel J. McKee was joined today by military families to honor Rhode Island's fallen soldiers during the annual Garden of Heroes Wreath Laying Ceremony at the State House.
The Garden was dedicated in 2005 to Rhode Island men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country since September 11, 2001. A monument in the Garden is engraved with the names of 29 Rhode Island men and women who gave their lives in defense of our nation:
SGT Gregory A. Belanger, SSG Joseph Camara, SGT Charles T. Caldwell, SPC Michael Andrade, CW5 Sharon T. Swartworth, CPT Matthew J. August, SFC Curtis Mancini, MSG Richard L. Ferguson, L/CPL Matthew K. Serio, CPT Christopher S. Cash, L/CPL John J. Van Gyzen IV, SSG Christopher S. Potts, L/CPL Holly A. Charette, 2LT Matthew S. Coutu, SGT Dennis J. Flanagan, SGT Brian R. St. Germain, SSG Dale James Kelly, Jr., SGT Moises Jazmin, SGT Michael R. Weidemann, PS3 Ronald A. Gill, Jr., LTJG Francis L. Toner IV, PFC Kyle J. Coutu, SGT Michael F. Paranzino, SPC Dennis C. Poulin, L/CPL Nicholas D. Schiavoni, SGT Dennis P. Weichel, Jr., L/CPL Abraham Tarwoe, SSG Timothy R. McGill and 1 SG P. Andrew McKenna.
"Memorial Day gives us the chance to reflect on the legacies left behind by our fallen heroes. We remember their courage, we respect their dedication, and we vow to never forget their sacrifice," said McKee. "I thank the families of our service members for the support they have given their sons, daughters and loved ones. We know that we are a better state and a better nation because of their selfless service. For that, we can never be grateful enough."
The Garden was established through legislation introduced at the request of former Lt. Governor Charles J. Fogarty. The Office of the Lieutenant Governor oversees the continued care of the Garden.