Veterans recognize NK Fire, Police Depts
By PHILIP COZZOLINO
NORTH KINGSTOWN – Just after the town council pledged allegiance to the flag before its meeting Monday night, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 152, the local branch, Commander Sarah Cavanaugh recognized the town’s public safety leaders on behalf of the VFW and in acknowledgment of past and ongoing efforts to protect citizens. The recognition extended to both the police and fire departments, and was warmly received by the local police and fire chiefs.
Highlighting the work and sacrifice each department makes day in and day out, said Cavanugh, was the purpose of Monday’s recognition, as well as the VFW Post 152’s virtual 5K “Run to Remember” event, held on Sept. 11 this year, which raised funds for both the police and fire departments. 100 percent of the proceeds from the virtual race event were donated to a veteran service organization or a local first responder community charity. Past events in the area have raised over $13,000 for a wide range of causes, from the North Kingstown Food Pantry to Operation Stand Down and homeless veteran shelters.
“We’re here to honor the police department as well as the fire department,” said Cavanaugh before the town council Monday. “We raised funds for the police department and the fire department with the event because of your role on that day. In order to honor you and the sacrifices you made on that day and continue to make in community now.”
The local VFW branch also hosted a commemorative event at North Kingstown Town Beach on Sept. 11, with the outside event honoring the first responders who perished in the New York City attacks, as well as the veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice in the wars that followed in the Middle East, and the those who engage in charitable service.
“Our goal is to commemorate the lives of those who died in the 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Virginia and those who perished when the hijacked United Airlines Flight 93 crashed in Pennsylvania,” VFW Post 152 wrote. “We want to emphasize the importance of unity within our country and community and pay tribute to the heroes who continue to serve today, domestically and abroad.”
North Kingstown Police Chief Patrick Flanagan, as well as North Kingstown Fire Chief Scott Kettelle were on hand Monday evening to accept the recognition, which came with a framed plaque for each department.
“In special recognition and highest praise for alertness, personal courage and guardianship of life and property, this award is given to the Fire Department of North Kingstown,” read one award, accepted by Kettelle.
“In grateful recognition of unyielding adherence to the high ideals of law enforcement, and maintaining, preserving and protecting the lawful rights of all citizens, this award is presented to the North Kingstown Police Department,” read the other, accepted by Flanagan.
Both chiefs took a long pause to examine the plaques as those in attendance clapped and cheered. Members of each department not working that evening were also present, and the plaques were passed for all to view.
North Kingstown Town Council President Gregory Mancini also offered thanks and praise to each department.
“Not only does the VFW appreciate your work, but I assure you the citizens of North Kingstown do as well,” he said. “Congratulations for the work you do every day on behalf of the citizens of our community, we thank you.”
The recognition comes just before National First Responder’s Day on Oct. 28.