NEWPORT, RI (May 21, 2021): Operation Stand Down Rhode Island (OSDRI) is seeking volunteers to help with the 2021 “Boots on the Ground for Heroes Memorial” at Fort Adams in Newport.  The actual viewing days will be over Memorial Day weekend and are open free to the public; however volunteers are needed for the main set-up day  Wednesday, May 26th and break down day Tuesday, June 1st post the weekend’s events. 

The “Boots on the Ground for Heroes Memorial,” started in 2016, displays over 7,000 combat boots representing the life of a U.S. service member killed in action post 9-11 in the Global War on Terror. Each boot is adorned with a flag andplacard with the name and photo of the fallen along with biographical information, military branch, rank and circumstances of death. The Memorial is updated yearly to incorporate additional U.S. service members killed in the on-going Global War on Terror. The boots are alphabetized and organized by State and U.S. Territories allowing those with a personal connection to locate a specific fallen hero’s boot. Many times, family, friends and comrades of the fallen can be seen solemnly viewing a particular boot and leaving a memento.

Since its inception, tens of thousands visitors from all over the U.S. have visited during Memorial Day Weekend. The first three years the Memorial was displayed at Roger Williams Park in Providence. In 2019, the Memorial was displayed at Fort Adams State Park in Newport and suspended in 2020 due to the health pandemic. Fort Adams was chosen in 2019 as it is one of the oldest military posts in the Country and thereby a befitting location to honor the Country’s heroes.

Volunteers are needed for set up & breakdown on specific days.  To submit your name and information please contact: Jessica Miller at or 401.383.4730

Set Up Day & Time: Wednesday, May 26, 9:00 AM

Break Down Day & Time: Tuesday, June 1st,9:00 AM

Set up will be at Fort Adams in Newport with duties consisting of getting out boots, cleaning up/shining/lacing them, lining up boots on a predesigned grid, cleaning the boots off, attaching name placards and placing out American flags. Volunteers should be physically able to bend down/walk and wear comfortable shoes. With respect to COVID restrictions, Fort Adams will be following the RIDEM guidelines & instructions.

The Boots on the Ground for Heroes Memorial will be displayed at Fort Adams in Newport over Memorial Day Weekend May 28th – 31st, 2021. Hours are Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 8am – 8pm, and Monday 8am – 6pm. Admission is free for all attendees.

About Operation Stand Down:

Operation Stand Down Rhode Island (OSDRI) is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and Rhode Island’s primary nonprofit resource for homeless and at-risk veterans. Founded in 1993 and headquartered in Johnston, OSDRI’s mission is to strengthen the veteran community by providing crucial wrap-around services.

About the Fort Adams Trust:

The Fort Adams Trust is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit responsible for preservation, programming, and promoting the National Historic Landmarks in Fort Adams State Park in Newport, Rhode Island. Over 100,000 people tour the Fort and attend events in the Park annually. The Trust accepts donations to support its preservation and programming missions.

Community Submission

This content has been contributed to What's Up Newp. The views and opinions included within are not necessarily those of What's Up Newp, our contributors, or our advertisers.

We welcome letters to the editor on current local topics. Email them to