Rhode Island Office of Veterans Affairs

Days of Special Observance

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

January 15

This day celebrates the life and achievements of American civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

Founders Day of Italian-American War Veterans of the United States, Inc.

February 15

This day is to be observed by the people of this state with appropriate exercises in public places and commemorating the founding of the organization and its members.

Dominican Republic Independence Day

February 27

This day celebrates the Dominican Republic's Independence from Haiti in 1844.

Rhode Island Seabees Day

March 5

This day celebrates the Rhode Island members of the Seabees, United States Naval Construction Battalions.

National Women's History Week

Week containing March 8, International Women's Day

This week celebrates the historical accomplishments of Rhode Island women.

Peter Francisco Day

March 15

This day is in remembrance of the feats of valor and courage during our nation's war for independence of Peter Francisco, who was found without family or home at the age of five in Virginia, apparently separated from his Portuguese immigrant parents.

Social Workers' Day

Second Wednesday of March

This day celebrates social workers' important contributions to our society.

Rhode Island Patriot Guard Riders Day

April 12

The Rhode Island Patriot Guard Riders is an organization that attends the funerals of members of the armed forces, firefighters, first responders, and police. In addition to attending funerals, the group also greets troops returning from overseas at homecoming celebrations and performs volunteer work for veteran's organizations. This day celebrates the many contributions Rhode Island Patriot Guard Riders have and continue to make in our state.

Combat Veterans' Day

Third Saturday of April

This day honors veterans who has served in the armed forces in combat.

Workers' Memorial Day

Fourth Friday of April

This day is in remembrance of the courage and integrity of American workers and in particular be in remembrance of those workers who have been killed or injured in the course of their employment. Additionally, this observance is call to the attention of the people of our state the importance of workplaces that are healthy and safe for the prevention of workplace illness and injury.

Veterans of Foreign Wars Loyalty Day

May 1

This day recognizes and honors loyal United States veterans and the freedom that they defend in overseas conflicts.

Nurses' Day

First Monday of May

This day celebrates and helps raise awareness of the important role nurses play in our society.

Rhode Island Independence Day

May 4

This day is a just tribute to the memory of the members of our general assembly, who, on the fourth day of May, 1776, in the State House at Providence, passed an act renouncing allegiance of the colony to the British crown and by the provisions of that act declared Rhode Island sovereign and independent, the first official act of its kind by any of the 13 American colonies.

Vietnam Veterans' Day

May 15

This day commemorates the sacrifices made by Vietnam veterans and their families and is an effort to recognize these men and women who were denied a proper welcome upon returning home.

National Police Memorial Day

May 15

This day commemorates state and local police officers who have died in the line of duty.

National Police Week

Week Containing May 15

This week is set apart to honor the men and women who have given their lives in the war against crime while protecting the lives and property of our citizens.

Rhode Island Blue Star Parents Day

First Sunday after Mother's Day

This day is in recognition of parents whose children are actively deployed.

Neighbor Day

Sunday prior to Memorial Day Weekend

This day is set aside to connect with and recognize the importance of good neighbors.

Military Nurses Day

First Monday of June

This day is dedicated to Rhode Island military nurses who served their country in all wars, campaigns, and engagements throughout the world.

Italian-American Veterans Daisy Day

First Saturday of June

This day is to be observed by the people of this state with appropriate exercises.

Gaspee Days

Second Saturday and following Sunday of June

In 1772, the British Parliament passed the Townshend Acts that restricted colonial trade. In response, Rhode Island colonists burned the British revenue schooner, HMS Gaspee. This was the first bloodshed of the American Revolution.

Destroyer Escort Day

Third Saturday of June

This day highlights the role of the destroyer Escort in the naval service.

Cape Verdean Recognition Week

July 2 through July 9

Celebrates Cape Verde’s independence from Portugal in 1975, and to recognize the culture and history of the Cape Verdean people in Rhode Island.

Puerto Rican Recognition Week

July 23 through July 29

This week is set aside to celebrate the culture and history of the Puerto Rican people in Rhode Island.

Korean War Veterans Memorial Day

July 27

This day honors veterans who has served in the Korean War.

Disabled American Veterans Day

July 31

This day honors veterans who were disabled while serving our country.

Firefighters' and Police Officers' Appreciation Day

September 11

This day celebrates all the dedicated men and women who have lost their lives in the line of duty as Firefighters and Police Officers.

American Indian Heritage Day

September 24

This day is to pay tribute to Native Americans for their many contributions to the United States.


Third Friday of September

This day honors persons who are prisoners-of-war or missing in action.

Italian-American Heritage Month


This month is set aside to celebrate the culture, history, and many contributions Italian-Americans have made in Rhode Island.

General Casimir Pulaski Day

October 11

This day commemorates the death of General Kazimierz Pułaski, a Polish hero of the American Revolution, who died from wounds suffered at the Siege of Savannah on October 9, 1779. This day is also to honor the heritage of Polish Americans.

White Cane Safety Day

October 15

The day is set aside to celebrate the achievements of people who are blind or visually impaired and the tool of their independence, the white cane. It Emphasizes the need of the citizens to be aware of the presence of people who are disabled in the community and to keep safe and functional the streets, highways, sidewalks, walkways, public buildings, public facilities, other public places, places of public accommodation, amusement, and resort, and other places to which the public is invited.

Gold Star Parents Day

Third Sunday in October

This nation and state owes an enormous debt to those grieving parents who have lost children in war. The state and American flags are flown at half-staff over the Rhode Island State House to commemorate this day of remembrance to honor their memory.

Veteran Firefighters' Muster Day

The governor shall issue an annual proclamation calling for proper observance of "Veteran Firefighters' Muster Day."