Operation Stand Down RI (OSDRI) will host their Annual Boots On The Ground For Heroes Memorial at Fort Adams State Park this weekend.

In 2016, OSDRI launched the Boots on the Ground for Heroes Memorial with the widely acclaimed and dramatic display of nearly 7,000 military boots. Each boot is adorned with a name placard and an American flag representing each American service member killed in action since 9/11, in the Global War on Terror.

The first of its kind, the display had taken place at Roger Williams State Park over the last three years and has garnered local and national news coverage. Sadly, OSDRI writes on their website that the memorial continues to grow in size each year.

The Boots On The Ground For Heroes Memorial will be displayed May 24th – 27th on the Parade Field inside Fort Adams. According to the event flier, the event is free and open to the public from 7 am to 11 pm daily.

On Sunday evening, there will be a Patriotic Concert featuring the 88th Army Band from the Rhode Island National Guard.

Gold Star Gala

The Gold Star Gala is a night to honor Rhode Island’s Gold Star families post 9/11. The term “Gold Star” refers to a family member who had a loved one killed in action during a war time in a foreign country while serving their nation. On this night, OSDRI will honor the families left behind, remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice, and raise money for the Boots on the Ground Heroes Memorial.

The Gala will be held at Fort Adams in Newport on Friday May 24, 2019, and will involve a private viewing of the complete memorial for attendees to the event. The event will serve as the official kick off to OSDRI’s presentation of the Boots on the Ground for Heroes Memorial at Fort Adams on Memorial Day Weekend.

As part of a special ceremony, Gold Star families in attendance will be invited to place the boots belonging to their loved one.

For more information, visit 3rd Annual Gold Star Gala.

OSDRI’s mission is to help veterans secure stable housing and employment as well as other assistance according to individual needs including case management, basic human needs, referrals, and education and training services. For more information, visit www.osdri.org.

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Ryan Belmore has been the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp since 2012. He also currently works for Mountain News, where he serves as Senior Editor - North America for OnTheSnow. He previously worked for the New England Patriots and American Cancer Society. He currently serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).