Memorial Day ceremony held for Rhode Island’s fallen veterans

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Dozens took some time Thursday morning to remember some of Rhode Island’s finest men and women.

“Today is their day. Today we stand together to honor each and every one of our fallen heroes for serving our country so selflessly and so bravely,” said Lt. Governor Daniel McKee.

Several state officials joined loved ones of Rhode Island’s fallen veterans for a wreath-laying ceremony at the Rhode Island State House Garden of Heroes.

“There are now 29 names on the monument, 29 promising lives lost but not in vain,” said McKee.

“It is our hope that this garden is a fitting tribute to the sacrifices of the brave men and women of Rhode Island that have lost their lives in protecting our country,” said Gov. Gina Raimondo.

Each name on the wall, a harsh representation of the steep cost of freedom.

“There’s nothing we can do to fill the hole in your heart except to say we’re here because we honor their service and we will never forget and we will always be grateful and you will always have our support,” said Raimondo.

Captain Victoria Tolbert-Bravo, who serves in the Rhode Island National Guard, said she attended the ceremony to remember a friend with whom she served.

“They sacrifice their life for our freedoms, our beliefs, everything that we enjoy as American citizens and it’s important not to take that for granted,” she said.

She also added that one day she hopes this kind of sacrifice will no longer be necessary.

“I hope that my son, my daughter, grow up in a world that’s peaceful. That they can ride their bikes and go to concerts and not be afraid.”

During the ceremony, Governor Raimondo reaffirmed her administration’s commitment to veterans.

“We’re getting there, we’re getting there,” she said. “We’re a lot better now than we were a year ago.” But she admitted there was still a long way to go.