Central Falls honors service members ahead of Veterans Day

Central Falls honors service members ahead of Veterans Day

BLACKSTONE VALLEY

CENTRAL FALLS, R.I. (WPRI) — On Sunday morning, Central Falls Mayor James Diossa, along with state and local leaders, honored the brave members of our country’s military.

It’s estimated that more than 100 people gathered for the ceremony at Veterans Park.

Invited speakers included City Council President Maria Rivera, Councilman Robert Ferri, Director of Veterans Affairs for the State of Rhode Island Kasim Yarn, & former Adjutant General of Rhode Island Lt. General Reginald Centracchio.

Additionally, the Central Falls Honor Guard and the 88th Army Band Brass Quintet were also featured.

 

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According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Rhode Island’s veteran population is currently at at 70,621.

In neighboring Massachusetts, that number stands at 383,087.

“We do Veterans Day in remembrance,” Centracchio said. “…to ensure that the next generation understands there is a price for freedom.”

Since the September 11 terrorist attacks, 29 Rhode Islanders have lost their lives in action. Their names were read aloud on Sunday.

As part of Operation Stand Down’s Boots on the Ground for Heroes Memorial, 29 pairs of combat boots were lined with the name, picture, and story of each fallen service member.

“This traveling memorial allows for us to see a demonstration of their sacrifice first hand,” Diossa said.

“I look at this memorial here and I want you too to understand something. These are boots, these are flags, this is a memorial,” Centracchio said.

“If you go right up to [the boots] and you put your ear to them, you will hear a story. I guarantee you will hear a story,” he added.

Centracchio, a veteran himself, served for 48 years in the U.S. Army.

His parting message: listen to these stories and understand that freedom isn’t free.

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RWU Law Students serve Central Falls during Spring Break

Three Roger Williams University Law School students — Michael Milas, Bodie Pate, and Michael Moorman — spent the past week working in the Central Falls Law Department and were joined on their last day for a “thank you lunch” by Mayor James Diossa at Central Falls' famous La Casona Restaurant. The students were participants in the Law School’s "Alternative Spring Break" program, which affords students the opportunity to spend their spring break providing legal services on behalf of the public interest.

Michael Milas is from Lincoln, Rhode Island and is a 3L at RWU Law. Milas works in real estate and contract law at Goodman, Shapiro & Lombardi, LLC and utilized those skills while working closely with Central Falls City Solicitor Matthew Jerzyk and Assistant City Solicitor Robert Weber over the week. Milas helped draft an ordinance requiring landlords to provide tenants with a written lease and also drafted an ordinance requiring all dumpsters in the city to be properly covered to prevent rats and keep the city clean. Milas also formulated a draft Rules of Procedure for the Central Falls Municipal Court.

Bodie Pate, who is originally from Valencia, California and is a current 2L at RWU Law, has an undergraduate degree in Biology and a strong interest in patent law. Pate spent his week at the Central Falls Law Department working under the supervision of Chief of Staff Josh Giraldo, Deputy City Clerk Alberto DeBurgo, Jerzyk and Weber to centralize all relevant board and commission members, past and present and all relevant enabling authority for each board and commission.  Pate then created a centralized database with all of this information as well as the requirements needed to become a member. Pate's work product will be used by Mayor Diossa and his team to recruit new leaders throughout the city but to also track and ensure greater diversity among board and commission members.

Colorado native Michael Moorman is a 1L at Roger Williams University School of Law. Moorman moved to Central Falls in 2014 and, prior to law school, worked for title companies and small law firms. Moorman utilized these experiences, along with the skills he acquired during his first year of law school, while working alongside Solicitor Jerzyk for the past week. Moorman spent the reviewing proposed contracts between the city and entities such as renewable energy companies and electronic scooter companies and offering contract amendments.  He also explored and wrote a legal brief on the viability of a community electricity aggregation based on a current program in New Bedford. Finally, he researched best practices among cities and states in incentivizing and building a maker's movement - including the success of Hope and Main - and explored the branding of the one-square-mile Central Falls as the "Maker's Mile."

"I want to personally thank these three law school students - Michael, Bodie and Michael - for tackling important projects in City Hall," said Mayor Diossa. "The students completed important projects that our team has had on our agenda but has not had the capacity to complete.  That is why we greatly appreciate the students and the Law School's Alternative Spring Break program: it gives real-world municipal law experience to the students, but it also adds significant value to our small city and our comeback vision."

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Thank you to our vendors and providers, Central Falls Fire Department, Central Falls Police Department, Blackstone Valley Community Health Care, Gloria Gemma Foundation, Subway, La Casona Restaurant, YWCA, Mujeres Positivas de Central Falls, and The Learning Community for helping continue this wonderful event!

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City of Central Falls:
Samuel Ogundare
Office: 401-616-2443
Cell: 401-318-3788
sogundare@centralfallsri.us

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City of Providence, City of Central Falls File Lawsuit Against the U.S. Department of Justice

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