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Ponaganset Welcomes the Vietnam Moving Wall

Emily Williams

Emily Williams

Lily Bruscini, Point of View Piece

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Thursday morning, at 9 AM, students lined up along the sidewalk from the North to the South buildings waiting for the procession to arrive. The procession entered under a large American flag hanging from the Athletics entrance and led in stride by the senior class advisors, Mr. Robert Martin and Mr. Gary Martinelli. Following them were police by both automobile and horse, fire departments such as Chepachet and Moosup Valley, RI officials, the Veteran organization Rolling Thunder, and many more. There were dozens upon dozens of veterans riding their motorcycles in Rolling Thunder, it was heartwarming, as well as surprising. Police departments came from many neighboring districts such as Bristol, Coventry, Providence Cranston, Burrillville, Foster, and Glocester to display our unified communities in commemoration of the fallen soldiers in Vietnam.

After the march, with flags in hand, students were lead to the South building for our guest speakers; Father Salois, a veteran, and Kasim Yarn, Director of Veterans Affairs for Rhode Island. Father Salois spoke of the shame of returning to the United States as a surviving Vietnam soldier. He mentioned the mistreatment of those who faced protestors and were covered in feces and garbage. One particular thing he said that gave the biggest effect was the insensitivity he received to those around him, being told that after 13 years he should be “over it.” After Father Salois blessed the pieces of the Moving Wall, Kasim Yarn took to the stand and delivered a powerful speech students continued to discuss for the rest of the day.

The first day of this immensely lucky experience was a success. Our community thanks Christopher Stanley and all those who have volunteered and helped make this happen. The students of Ponaganset will remember these next few days for the rest of their lives. And a final thank you to all the veterans who have come to Ponaganset High School to help, be a speaker, or for their fallen brothers and sisters.

About the Writer
Lily Bruscini, Senior Exhibition Editor

I’m a senior at Ponaganset! In my free time, I enjoy listening to music and watching horror movies! My favorite bands are Twenty One Pilots and Panic!...

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