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CHARLESTOWN, RI  (May  9, 2023) – The Charlestown Memorial Day Committee, Inc. announces the 21st annual Charlestown Memorial Day Parade and Observances will be held on Sunday, May 28, 2023 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.  Lieutenant Colonel (Retired), Medical Services Corps, United States Army, Joanne E. McGovern, will be this year’s Grand Marshal.  LTC (Retired) Joanne E. McGovern will be the first woman Grand Marshal for our parade and we are exalted to have someone as well decorated as her serve in this esteemed roll.

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 again this year,” says Chairman and Parade Coordinator Heather Paliotta, also Executive Director of the Charlestown Chamber of Commerce.   “It is our privilege to hold this annual tradition and remembrance, we are pleased to be able bring our community together to show our great appreciation and respect to remember those who have served and made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.”

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, 155 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:


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