WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — Sunday afternoon, Fr. Robert Marciano will return to the site of the Station Nightclub Fire for only the third time since that tragic night in 2003.
Marciano, the chaplain for Warwick’s police and fire departments, will be one of the speakers at a ceremony in which a memorial park will be officially dedicated to the 100 people who perished in the fire.
He remembers rushing to the scene after being awoken by a message on his pager.
“At first they said they think there’s 20 dead, and then it was 30,” Marciano recalled. “I looked at the people trapped and I thought, there must be 100 people.”
Marciano said it’s too emotional to even drive past the place where so many people lost their lives 14 years ago.
“It just brings a lot of stuff back and I don’t… I prefer not to go back there,” he added. “I prefer to have the memories of the good things we did afterwards.”
Marciano hopes the memorial will be one of those good things.
“I’m grateful that, even though it’s 14 years later, that we’re going to make this a sacred place of remembrance for these families to come,” said Marciano.
The Catholic Church donated $60,000 to the memorial, along with grave sites at St. Ann’s Cemetery.
Sunday’s ceremony is scheduled for 2 p.m. Some roads will be closed in the area and police have set aside specific areas for parking.
Count on Eyewitness News for continuing coverage of the Station Nightclub Fire Memorial dedication. Danielle North will have live reports beginning at 6 a.m. Sunday, and we’ll be live-streaming the entire ceremony on WPRI.com.