Providence VA Medical Center, Rhode Island
Memorial Garden Dedication
On a beautiful, sunny May afternoon, staff from the Providence VA Medical Center along with well over 100 Veterans, family members, and friends of the Medical Center gathered at the front of the Ambulatory Care entrance to take part in a special Memorial Garden Dedication Ceremony.
The Memorial Garden project started 5 years ago as a way to commemorate the men and women of our Armed Forces who have served our Nation so proudly and honorably. The garden includes five granite slabs bearing the names of the five branches of the military--Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard. The garden also includes the first installment of memorial bricks. These memorial bricks were purchased and inscribed by Medical Center staff, Veterans, their family members, as well as members of the community.
Conducting this ceremony on the heels of Memorial Day gave it added meaning. There's not a more fitting expression of gratitude for all those who served and, more important, for our service men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice, not only to preserve our freedom, but also to help extend freedom abroad.
Guest speakers for the ceremony included Governor Lincoln Chafee, U.S. Representative David Cicilline, Brigadier General Charles Petrarca, and Colonel (retired) Theodore Low. During the ceremony, Vincent Ng, Medical Center Director, thanked everyone for their support, hard work, and commitment to making this Memorial Garden a reality. He also noted that the Memorial Garden will serve a functional purpose. "Veterans participating in our Horticulture Therapy group will take on the maintenance and upkeep of this area," he said. "Doing so will provide these Veterans with another outlet for their creativity."
Though this garden has been a long time coming, there is still much work to do. This garden is only the first phase of what will hopefully become a campus-wide project to include the creation of a memorial wall.
You may view pictures from the Memorial Garden Ceremony on our Facebook page.
On this Memorial Day 2012, the Providence VA Medical Center would like to extend its heartfelt gratitude to all who have served or are serving our country.