It’s one of the most important and impressive events of the year in Johnston, a chance for the town to honor those who gave their lives in defense of the nation.
The annual Memorial Day Service and will be held Friday, May 24, beginning at 9 a.m. inside War Memorial Park.
“This is a new date and a new time,” Vin Jackvony, program director for the host Johnston Parks and Recreation Department, said earlier this week. “We wanted to get the word out as soon as possible about the date change in hopes that a record crowd will show up to honor our late and great veterans.”
Jackvony said the Memorial Day Service – which is held amid what he called a “perfect setting,” given the park’s many memorials – will be held on the outdoor bandstand, which will be draped with American flags.
The Memorial Day Service is held in conjunction with the Parks and Recreation Department, Mayor Joseph Polisena, the Johnston Community Center Association, the Johnston Police Department, Johnston Public Schools and Kelley-Gazzerro VFW Post 2812.
Admission is free, and Jackvony announced that chairs would be set up opposite the bandstand especially for the ceremony.
The event will include the Bell Ringing, a Memorial Day Service tradition in Johnston in which a military veteran rings a bell as another reads the names and branches of service of 42 men from Johnston who were killed in action in Korea, World War II and Vietnam.
“Let’s not forget our heroes,” Polisena said. “All Johnston residents are welcome and we urge parents to bring their children. Let our future honor our past.”
Jackvony announced that military personnel can reserve a place on the Wall of Honor – also located at Johnston War Memorial Park – by purchasing a 6-by-12-inch marble plaque for a cost of $150. The program is open to any service person from the six branches of service, living or deceased, veteran, active or reserve.
People who’d like more information about the Memorial Day Service or the Wall of Honor – or other such events held throughout the year – should call the Johnston Parks and Recreation Department at 272-3460 during regular business hours.