What to expect with Barrington's Memorial Day events

Parade route is the same, although spectators are invited to be participants

Posted 5/28/22

Organizers of this year’s Barrington Memorial Day Remembrance and Parade are sharing some information about the upcoming events.

• Plan of the day: If you have already signed up for the …

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What to expect with Barrington's Memorial Day events

Parade route is the same, although spectators are invited to be participants

Posted

Organizers of this year’s Barrington Memorial Day Remembrance and Parade are sharing some information about the upcoming events.

• Plan of the day: If you have already signed up for the parade, or would like to join one of the groups already registered to march, please check in with the parade organizers (look for the colored vests) outside the main entrance to Barrington High School from 9-9:30 a.m. At 9:30, we will have short and somber convocation ceremony to call everyone together, set the tone, and then organize for the march - all are invited, from marchers to the general public. The parade will commence at 10 a.m., and proceed to Town Hall by approximately 11. It will be followed by the formal remembrance ceremonies once all are present. We expect to conclude around noon.

• Rain or shine: We will be making a weather call at 7:30 a.m. on Memorial Day. If we need to move to the rain plan, then we will post the decision to the Town Memorial Day website [https://www.barrington.ri.gov/memorial-day-parade] and move the remembrance portion of the ceremony indoors to the Barrington High School Auditorium to start at 10 a.m. In the small chance that all seems good but weather rolls in during the parade, then we will conclude safely and continue moving to Town Hall, hosting ceremonies inside the Town Hall council chambers once all can assemble.

• Route and where to watch: The parade celebrating "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" - the cause for which veterans and deceased service members fought - will commence at 10 a.m. and move along the traditional route from in front of the high school, turning left on Upland Way and down Barrington Avenue, and then turning left again to proceed down Maple Avenue to Town Hall. The Barrington Police Department will be closing roads along the parade route and spectators are welcome to find a spot along the sides of the parade route. There will also be limited seating next to County Road for those who may need more assistance and for our veterans who do not feel physically able to make the march. 

• Who is marching, and can I join? Please see the full program of march on the town website, but in general there are four "divisions" to the march.  After the color guard and BHS/BMS band lead the way, the first division will be composed of survivors of deceased veterans, veterans, active duty service members, and families of any of these cohorts. We have tried to reach everyone in town who is registered to one of these categories, but the door is wide open for any who fit one of these profiles and would like to march (again, just see the organizers in the 9-9:30 check-in period) - come in the uniform of your choice or simply carry whatever memento seems appropriate to you along the march. While the day is first and foremost focused on remembering our deceased service members, we are also continuing the philosophy of widening the circle of thanks with the next three divisions.  Division 2 will honor our first responders; followed by a recognition of others who have chosen some path of public service such as BPS Teachers and Staff and Town employees - with a special thanks for their work helping the town to weather COVID. The third division recognizes the "Civic Engagement" that sustains the community we seek to defend, including marchers like Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, and the YMCA.  The fourth division represents a vibrant "Community Pride" and will include marchers such as local sports organizations as well as BEF and our 2022 BHS Seniors.

• Remembrance ceremonies: Once at Town Hall, the parade will then transition to the final remembrance ceremonies. In fact, the last division in the parade will carry a banner saying "Follow Us!" - and we encourage everyone watching to do so, in the spirit of moving from spectators to becoming participants in the day. Simply get up, fall in behind the "Follow Us!" banner, and become part of the parade and the movement to Town Hall for the remembrance. (Please be mindful that emergency vehicles will be following a short distance after the last division - they are part of the parade but need to maintain the ability to break off and respond if needed, you may fall in in front of them but please leave the path behind them clear.) Once all are assembled, at approximately 11 a.m., we will begin the remembrance with an invocation from Chaplain Ray, a veteran and a faith leader, and then the elements that many of you will be familiar with from years past, such as Taps and Echo, a moment of silence, and a reading of the Gettysburg Address. But there will also be new elements as we continue to evolve our town's traditions, and this year we will offer a mosaic of short remembrances from a diverse array of perspectives rather than center on one key speaker.

2022 by East Bay Newspapers

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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.