R 045
2017 -- H 5410
Enacted 02/07/2017

H O U S E   R E S O L U T I O N

Introduced By: Representatives Giarrusso, Nardolillo, Shekarchi, Winfield, and
Date Introduced: February 07, 2017

     WHEREAS, The State of Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission
considers our states cemeteries to be "among Rhode Island's most unique and most overlooked
historic resources"; and
     WHEREAS, In 1950, a state cemetery commission was established in order to locate and
register historical cemeteries throughout the state. By 1958, the commission had found 1,704
cemeteries; and
     WHEREAS, By 1990, the state cemetery commission, under the direction of John
Sterling, and in conjunction with a group comprised of forty volunteers, "set out to record and
computerize all of the gravestones in historical cemeteries around the state." As of today, they
have found, registered, and recorded the gravestones in 3,143 cemeteries across the state; and
     WHEREAS, Rhode Island's historical cemeteries are "open air museums" conveying
information not only on the births and deaths of our citizens but also providing a record of our
state's geographical, religious and cultural past; and
     WHEREAS, As historical sites and the eternal resting places of our ancestors and the
original settlers in our state, historic cemeteries deserve our utmost respect, restoration, and
maintenance; now, therefore be it
     RESOLVED, That this House of Representatives of the State of Rhode Island and
Providence Plantations hereby thanks and recognizes the Rhode Island Historical Cemetery
Commission on their dedicated efforts to restore and rehabilitate historic cemeteries in our state;
and be it further
     RESOLVED, That this House hereby proclaims Saturday, April 15, 2017, to be "Historic
Cemetery Restoration/Awareness Day" and urges the citizens of the state to observe this day with
appropriate ceremonies and activities that raise awareness for the cultural, architectural, and
archaeological importance, and the need to preserve and restore the historic cemeteries in our
state; and be it further
     RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and hereby is authorized and directed to
transmit a duly certified copy of this resolution to Mr. Alan Clarke, East Greenwich Historic
Cemetery Advisory Commission.