Trinity Church, Newport, RI, places flags on historical veteran graves
, 2022-11-11 04:09:51,
NEWPORT — The inscription on the earliest veteran’s grave at Trinity Church – that of Robert Gardner – tells us he was “one of the first promoters of the Church in this place, he survived all his Brethren and had the happiness to see this Church Compleatly finished, he was Navil Officer and Collect’r of this port for many Years, also imployed in the affairs of this Colony & Discharged his trust to Satisfaction. He died ye 1st of May 1731, the day of his Birth, aged 69 years.”
During the week of Veterans Day, Gardner and 22 other Newport veterans who died between 1731 and 2022 and served in the colonial period, during the Revolution and as recently as the Vietnam War are being honored with flags of their respective historical periods displayed on their graves through Sunday, Nov. 13.
Gardner’s inscription can once again be read, along with the inscriptions on the neighboring stone of Capt. James Cahoone and several other 18th and 19th century veterans, thanks to the efforts of volunteer stone conservationist Jimmy Lappin, who does an extraordinary job cleaning the old gravestones using wooden skewers, a toothbrush, water and lots of elbow grease.
The transformation rendered by Lappin, who said he always takes special notice when a grave he is rehabbing turns out to belong to a veteran, is nothing short of incredible. The slate and marble graves, some of which are so caked with moss and muck as to be entirely inscrutable, gleam and glow in the late afternoon…
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