NORTH SMITHFIELD, R.I. (WPRI) ─ As the coronavirus pandemic was intensifying, something lost was suddenly found in a busy store, and now the search is on for clues.
In early March, at the corner of Victory Highway and North Main in North Smithfield, a Marine Corps. ring was discovered among the aisles of snacks in a Cumberland Farms.
Assistant Manager Amanda Cote was encouraged that someone slowed down enough in the fast-paced store to spot it and bring it to the counter.
“I thought it was really cool that someone would actually return it,” Cote said. “To take the time and do that. We don’t always see it.”
Cote found it at the bottom of the store safe when she reported to work shortly after the ring was found.
When she took a closer look, raised letters that read “Iwo Jima – 1945” were the first thing she noticed.
It was 75 years ago when the Battle of Iwo Jima exploded off the coast of Japan. Nearly 7,000 Marines were killed and another 20,000 were wounded in 36 days of fighting that secured the island for the allies.
The possibility the ring was lost by a veteran who would more than likely be in their 90s, or their loved one, was important to Cote.
Military service is a family calling.
Her great grandfather, grandfather, father and a number of cousins all served, and her brother is active in the United States Air Force.
“If they had something made like that and it was lost, I’m sure I’d be searching for it for them,” Cote said.
Cote posted some details on social media about the ring, but made sure not to reveal everything about the memento.
“That way, not just any stranger can come forward and say, ‘that’s mine,'” Cote said. “There’s a couple of nibbles but nothing yet.”
She has her own lead as well, involving one of the store’s regulars she does not know by name, who has not been in throughout the pandemic.
“I think it could be his,” Cote said. “He’s an older guy who looks like he served. He’s always decked out in military gear.”
If you have any tips about the ring, contact us here.