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The Boots on the Ground for Heroes Memorial returns to Fort Adams State Park this Memorial Day Weekend, May 27th – 30th.

The display, which includes more than 7,000 boots honoring post 9/11 fallen service members, will be open to the public Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 8 AM to 8 PM, and on Monday from 8 AM to 6 PM.

There will be a Patriotic Concert featuring the 88th Army Band, Rhode Island National Guard on Sunday from 5 pm to 6 pm.

Admission is free for all attendees.

Operation Stand Down RI, an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and Rhode Island’s primary nonprofit resource for homeless and at-risk veterans, launched the Boots on the Ground for Heroes Memorial in 2016.

The display presents more than 7,000 combat boots adorned with flags and placards. Each boot represents the life of a U.S. service member killed in action post 9-11 in the Global War on Terror.

A placard attached to each boot displays the name and photo of the fallen along with biographical information, military branch, rank and circumstances of death, according to Operation Stand Down RI’s website. The Memorial is updated yearly to incorporate additional U.S. service members killed in the ongoing Global War on Terror.

The boots, adorned by the name placards, are alphabetized and organized by State and U.S. Territories. This allows 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, over ten thousand 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 moved to Fort Adams State Park.

For more information and updates on this event, visit https://osdri.org/boots-on-the-ground/.

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Ryan Belmore is the Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here - https://whatsupnewp.com/2021/09/letter-from-the-publisher-some-personal-news/

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at ryan@whatsupnewp.com and 401-662-1653.