Freemasons from throughout Rhode Island and their guests met at the Rhode Island Veterans Cemetery in Exeter on Nov. 11 to lay a wreath at the Masonic Veterans Memorial.
The wreath-laying ceremony was conducted by Robert B. Ellston, Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons for Rhode Island, who read from foreword of Vietnam veteran and Medal of Honor Recipient Sammy Lee Davis’s book about his experiences in Southeast Asia and how that changed his life. Mekawy E. Elmekawy, Right Worshipful Grand Chaplin for the Grand Lodge of Rhode Island, offered opening and closing prayers for the ceremony. Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Rick Baccus, Right Worshipful District Deputy Grand Master, presented a short history of the Arlington National Cemetery. This year, Arlington National Cemetery is commemorating the centennial of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. A color guard from Overseas Lodge No. 40 presented the American flag. The wreath-laying ceremony was preceded by a breakfast at Mt. Vernon Lodge No. 4 in North Kingstown. The Masonic Veterans Memorial was dedicated in 2006. Rhode Island Freemasons place wreaths at the memorial each Veterans Day and Memorial Day.