Warren will mark Memorial Day this coming Sunday and Monday with a full slate of ceremonies, speeches and parades, as well as appearances by highly decorated and prominent veterans and current service members, as well as Laotian resistance fighters.
The services start at 9 a.m. Sunday, May 26, when veterans hold a memorial program at the Vietnam Memorial marker at the intersection of Market Street and Route 136. Dave MCarthy will be the Master of Ceremonies, and guest speakers will be Hmong Soldiers from the Hmong United Association of Rhode Island.
The fiercely independent Hmong, who live in the mountainous region of Laos and Vietnam, saw communism as a threat to their autonomy. During the Vietnam War, they mounted a 30,000 man army, with help from America, to fight the communist Pathet Lao, which was backed by communist North Vietnam.
Over the war years, the Hmomg won many victories, though they were ultimately defeated when the North Vietnamese intervened directly in Laos. They were persecuted, and many fled to the United States.
“The Hmong saved many thousands of lives,” wrote David Foehr in his announcement of Sunday’s service.
Apart from the honored guests, the National Anthem will be sung by Amanda Beaulieu, a wreath will be laid, there will be a cannon salute by the United Train of Artillery, and Sgt. Michael Jackson (USAF, retired) will play Taps.
At about 9:45 a.m., those present will head to the Nroth Burial Ground, where honors will be rendered.
Monday, May 27
Services start at the Town Wharf at 7:45 a.m., where Naval honors will be rendered. A wreath will be placed in the river by veterans, town officials and councilors, and invited guests. Again, Sgt. Jackson will play Taps.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, the contingent will head to the Town Common and Town Honor Roll for a ceremony set to begin at 8:15 a.m.
MC’ing the event will be Brigadier General Richard Valente (retired). There will be an invocation by Chaplain LT Jonathan Henderson, and speeches, honoring of deceased veterans, and more.
The parade forms up after the short ceremony and will leave at about 8:30 a.m. They’ll head west on State to Water, north on Water to Miller, east on Miller to Main, and south on Main to the South Burial Ground.
There, guest speaker Colonel Susan Luz, Army Nurse Corps, USAR (retired) will be introduced, after formalities.
Colonel Luz was one of the highest ranking female soldiers in the 399th Combat Support Hospital based out of Taunton, Mass. She was awarded the Bronze Star in 2007 for service in Iraq. Trained as a nurse, she is also the author of “The Nightingale of Mosul,” which details her lifelong service to those in need, as well as in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
“In the end,” she said, “I decided to write this book as a way to pay tribute to the heroes I’ve knwon throughout my life.”
Parade order of march
Combat Vets Motorcycle escort
Color Guard Co A 3 rd RI Heavy Artillery Sons of the Union Veterans of teh Civil War
RIARNG Funeral Honors Detail Firing Squad
Fire Chief and Assistant Chiefs-Warren Fire Department
Police Chief and WPD Veterans
Memorial Day Committee-
Guest Speaker- COL Susan Luz
Combat Medic Sgt Bruce Cotta, LT Jonathan M. Henderson CHC USN
Veterans mounted in Jeeps and Humvees-43d Military Police Brigade
Veterans and Auxiliary (American Legion/VFW/DAV)
Warren Fire Dept Color Guard
Town Council/State Senator/State Representative
Mount Hope High School Band
Federal Blues and Warren’s Oldest Veteran- Pallas -1757
Boy Scouts Troop 25
Army 2 1/2 Ton (Deuce and a Half) -Readers, and school participants and veterans
About the services’ chaplain, LT Jonathan M. Henderson, CHC, USN, Naval Station Newport, Chapel of Hope
Chaplain Henderson, a native of Pace, FL, attended the University of West Florida, earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, December 1999. He then attended, Asbury Theological Seminary where he earned his Master of Divinity, December 2004. Prior to military service, Chap Henderson worked for AT&T for 9 yrs. He then transitioned to full time ministry in 2008 as the Associate Pastor, Director of Education, and the Youth Pastor at St. Andrew by the Sea in Gulf Shores, Alabama for 3 yrs. His greatest accomplishment at St. Andrew by the Sea was helping children of alcoholics and drug addicts chose a better path for their lives.
Chap. Henderson commissioned as Lieutenant Junior Grade in March 2011, attended Officer Development School in Newport, Rhode Island, then Navy Chaplaincy School and Center at Ft. Jackson, South Carolina. Upon graduating Navy Chaplaincy School and Center, he was awarded the Captain Stanley J. Beech Student Leadership Award. In June 2011, he reported as the Deputy Command Chaplain Naval Station Newport, supporting over 50 tenant commands. Two months after his arrival in Newport, he became the acting Command Chaplain for 6 months and managed a $500,000 Chapel renovation, conducted and facilitated multiple worship experiences for service members and their families, and supported various functions of Naval Station Newport and tenant commands.
Chap. Henderson and his wife Nashisha have been married for 13 years and have five children: Josiah (11), Mikaiah (8), Levi (5), Sophia (2), and Caleb (newborn).
About speaker Col. Susan Luz
Colonel Susan Luz was one of the highest-ranking female members of her Massachusetts Army Reserve unit and did not take the call to service lightly. At 56, when she received the letter deploying her unit to Iraq, Luz knew she could have begged off. Instead, she packed her bags, kissed her husband goodbye, and set off on a journey that would test her leadership as an officer, her compassion as a nurse, and her resolve as a witness to the brutalities of modern warfare. Her 12 months on the ground in Iraq in 2006 and 2007 make for a gripping read in THE NIGHTINGALE OF MOSUL: A Nurse’s Journey of Service, Struggle, and War (Kaplan Publishing, May 4, 2010). Luz’s career as a public servant, though, began long before the deployment letter arrived.
The daughter of a decorated World War II veteran, Colonel Luz hails from a family of individuals dedicated to patriotic service. Fans of Stephen Ambrose’s book and the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers will no doubt recognize the author’s surname as that of Easy Company George Luz Sr. (the Funny Guy), — Colonel Susan Luz’s father-in-law.
In this extraordinary memoir of a life of service, sacrifice, and adventure, Luz recalls her determination as a young woman in the Peace Corps, her experiences as a tough-minded nurse in the gang-ridden schools of Providence, Rhode Island, and her ultimate decision to join the reserves and accept the call to Iraq. An honest, straightforward account of her challenges and triumphs, Luz’s narrative reveals a spunky, irrepressible woman who responds to setbacks again and again with a renewed commitment to serving others. THE NIGHTINGALE OF MOSUL follows Luz through a harrowing assault in rural Brazil, violent encounters with patients in the psychiatric ward of a prison, and heartwarming moments with students during her inner-city public school work. The book also details her adventures aboard a traveling health center with Project HOPE, her personal commitment to her nephews battling cystic fibrosis, and the friends and family who helped her to find her way.
An engaging and candid narrator, Luz offers an unadorned view of both basic training and daily life in Iraq—first in Mosul, a hotbed of insurgent activity in the north, and later in Al-Asad, the dusty outpost in the Syrian desert that became the primary trauma center for American troops. Through 300 mortar attacks, 16 mass casualty situations, the aftereffects of the troop surge, and the everyday tragedies of life during war, THE NIGHTINGALE OF MOSUL is an action-packed story of heroism, integrity, and compassion under fire.
It is also a story of fellowship and community in wartime. From her unofficial appointment as the unit’s social chair to her unorthodox approach to rules and regulations, Luz describes both the challenges of life in a war zone and the camaraderie and leadership that sustain soldiers and medical personnel alike. “We might have been seeing the most gruesome things imaginable during the day,” notes Luz, “but after shift we became the nightingales, the songbirds of Iraq. In the midst of this chaos came friendship and togetherness.”
THE NIGHTINGALE OF MOSUL is also a larger story of patriotic war service and the bonds that join generations committed to protecting the United States and advancing American democracy. “In the end,” says Colonel Luz, “I decided to write this book as a way to pay tribute to the heroes I’ve known throughout my life.”
A hero in her own right, as well as a recipient of the Bronze Star for meritorious service, Colonel Susan Luz has been a daily inspiration to the men and women of her reserve unit. THE NIGHTINGALE OF MOSUL is her story—an uplifting and spellbinding account of exemplary lifelong service.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Colonel Susan Luz was one of the highest-ranking female soldiers in the 399th Combat Support Hospital, an Army Reserve unit based out of Massachusetts. In 2007 she was awarded the Bronze Star for meritorious service while in Iraq. Trained as a nurse, she has lived a life devoted to public service and has worked in inner-city schools, jails, and adolescent psychiatric wards. A former Peace Corps volunteer to Brazil, she holds a nursing degree from the University of Rhode Island and a master’s degree in community health nursing from Boston University. Susan lives with her husband, George Luz Jr., in Rhode Island.
Marcus Brotherton has collaborated with Lt. Buck Compton on Call of Duty and with 20 of the original Band of Brothers on We Who Are Alive and Remain. He lives in Washington State.