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CHARLESTOWN, RI  (April 30, 2024) – The Charlestown Memorial Day Committee, Inc. announces the 22nd annual Charlestown Memorial Day Parade and Observances will be held on Sunday, May 26, 2024 rain or shine, produced and directed by the Charlestown Memorial Day Parade Committee and the Charlestown Chamber of Commerce.

The events are held to give honor to our fallen military heroes. The parade will step off at 1:00 p.m., the line of March will be along Route 1A (Old Post Road) in Charlestown beginning at Compass Hardware and ending at Charlestown Liquor Store. Charlestown’s own, Retired Naval Captain William (Bill) Meyer, will be this year’s Grand Marshal.  Captain Meyer served as a pilot during the Cold War era.  He flew Sub Hunter aircraft in the Middle East and the North Atlantic.  Captain Meyer also did his training at Naval Auxiliary Airfield Charlestown, now known as Ninigret Park.  Captain Meyer will be the keynote speaker at the services held at Ninigret Park following the Memorial Day Parade on Sunday, May 26th.

Memorial observances will be held during two parade stops, at the cemetery at Cross’ Mills Baptist Church and at the brook near Town Dock Road; and also, immediately following the parade, at the Charlestown Naval Airfield Memorial at Ninigret Park at approximately 2:15pm. The three observances honor those who died in the service of our Country, on land, at sea, and in the air, respectively.

“We are honored to continue to bring the Charlestown Memorial Day Parade and Observances to Charlestown each year,” says Chairman and Parade Coordinator Heather Paliotta, also Executive Director of the Charlestown Chamber of Commerce.  “Remembering all of those who have served and made the ultimate sacrifice for our country is a privilege.  Our community coming together to show our respect, admiration and appreciation is a beautifully moving tradition that we are all honored to be a part of here in Charlestown.”.

This year we invite all Rhode Island Gold Star Families not only to participate in the Memorial following the parade, but if so inclined to march in our parade next to our Gold Star Float.  Please contact Heather Paliotta, Parade Chair and Charlestown Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, to participate at 401-364-3878.

The Charlestown Memorial Day Committee, Inc. is an all-volunteer, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization. To donate or volunteer, email us at​​, or call parade chair Heather Paliotta at 401-364-3878.


Memorial Day was first observed nationally in 1868 as Decoration Day, established by General John Logan, the commander-in-chief of the Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R., an organization of Union veterans of the Civil War.) His General Orders, No. 11, stated, “The 30t​ h day of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land.”

Today, 156 years later, flags again commemorate the empty graves of our Civil War soldiers whose bodies never returned home, their names preserved in stone: W.H. Burton, William H. Carpenter, B.F. Hawkes, Samuel Hazard, Reuben A. Healey, Welcome H. Kenyon, Halsey Stevens, William Taylor. In the same cemetery, beside the Cross’ Mills Baptist Church, lie nine Charlestown veterans of the American Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, and the French & Indian War.

The Charlestown Memorial Day Committee honors all who have made the ultimate sacrifice in all of our nation’s wars, in an annual Parade and Observances. The Gold Star Memorial float recognizes local World War II casualties, and the POW/MIA recognizes those who never returned from war, recorded as Prisoners of War or Missing in Action.

The Charlestown Memorial Day Committee, Inc. is an all-volunteer, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization. To donate or volunteer, or for more information, email us at​, or call parade chair Heather Paliotta at 401-364-3878.

About the Charlestown Memorial Day Parade Committee:

Charlestown Memorial Day Committee is nonprofit organization.  The Committee is dedicated in honoring the 1.5 Million men and women who died in service to the UNTIED STATES OF AMERICA.  For more information, please log onto:

About the Charlestown Chamber of Commerce:

The Charlestown Chamber of Commerce is a not for profit ogranization comprised of several hundred businesses, non-profit and associate members.  The chamber’s mission is to facilitate and ensure the success and growth of our business community and our members through business networking and the promotion of regional tourisum.  The chamber is dedicated to the cultural, historical, environmental, recreational and civic well-being of the beautiful coastal communities in and around Charlestown, Rhode Island.  For more information, please log onto:

MEDIA CONTACT:  Kimberly J. Poland, Poland Media Group – (401) 743-7272,

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