NEWPORT, R.I. (WPRI) — Operation Stand Down Rhode Island (OSDRI) has canceled the fourth annual Gold Star Gala and the fifth annual Boots on the Ground for Heroes Memorial scheduled for Memorial Day weekend in Newport.
Due to the state and federal restrictions on large scale gatherings, the event cannot be held. OSDRI Development Director Dee DeQuattro said the decision does not come lightly.
“These events have such a deep meaning and impact to so many Rhode Islanders and it is with deep remorse that we are canceling the Memorial. It is our intention that we will return to the [Fort Adams State] park with the display on Memorial Day Weekend of 2021,” she said.
DeQuattro encourages all Rhode Islanders still take a minute and reflect on the true meaning of Memorial Day on May 25.
“The past few months have been difficult for many members of the community who are struggling with the restrictions caused by COVID-19,” she said. “Many sacrifices have been made throughout our state and country but most do not compare to the sacrifice made by our nation’s heroes who laid down their lives in service of our nation.”
Individuals and sponsors who bought tickets or supported the event can choose to be refunded or have the contribution applied toward next year’s event.
The memorial displays nearly 7,000 military boots with flags and name placards representing the United States Service Members killed post 9/11 during the Global War on Terror.
The Boots on the Ground for Heroes Memorial was set for Friday, May 22 until Monday, May 25. The Gala was scheduled for May 22 at 6:30 p.m.