WWII Monument Rhode Island, Providence


My visit to Providence, RI.

Finally after 2˝ years, I was standing in front of the WW2 war monument…..it was unbelievable, what I felt, after years of emailing with John (DeFusco) whom, has sended me photographs and kept me up to date with all the information on this astonished monument…... I was there.

We have stayed two weeks in this great nation the USA, and a visit to this war monument, was one of our highlights', besides I will not forget anything on that beautiful trip. All those places and people  that we have met where really terrific. I still get tears in my eyes just thinking about this trip. Especially our last goodbye felt heavy for all of us. Our feeling was, that someday we will meet again. Because all those people we met, have a heart of gold.

It started all with a ordinary email, to the webmaster who was responsible for the web on the Rhode-Island Monument, he brought me in contact with John,… at that moment, he became a friend, this man is absolutely a gift out of the sky to me.

I 'have ask him to see if he could trace any family members of the WW2  US soldier who have died for our liberty he, is buried at our US Military Cemetery at Margraten, The Netherlands. His grave has been adopted by me since a few years ago. His name is Michael DeFebio…he was born and brought up before serving in the city of Providence, Rhode-Island.

I had the feeling that he was the man to talk to. He said, no problem, I'll help you with your search to find the relatives of your soldier Michael, one day later he mailed me back, and wrote that he had found some relatives, a sister and  brother-in law of the deceased (Lucy and Ray) both they were living in Lancaster Ohio. He received his information from a sister in law Mary DeFebio whom was married with late Michael's brother Rocco, and both lived in Providence, it's sad to say that, Mary died on June 10th and Lucy on September 17th 2010.

It has been a miracle that I met Lucy when she was still alive to ask her questions about Micheal, while I was traveling through the USA.

Also I received the email address from Michael's niece Joan I still have contact with her I have met her also while visiting the VFW-bldg at Cranston, I only saw her a short time as we had many more people to meet, at this gathering. At this gathering we where spoken to by many people and received a few commendations. Later that evening, at Johns house I was not satisfied that I only had a very brief talk with Joan, so I called  her on the phone, to make a appointment for the next day, first we would visit the Veterans Memorial Cemetery of Rhode-Island, were we met her, so that was done.

The next day we were picked up by Sandy (Gorodetsky) and whom directed us to the Veteran Memorial Cemetery from Rhode-Island, this friend  knows very much about this monument and he explained everything  in detail. Nice fellow… Later that day we met up with Joan again, and we left to together to pay a visit to the Jewish War Veterans Cemetery, after that we have talked and stayed a couple of hours with Joan, first at her house and after that at a restaurant ,were we eat as it, was easier to talked. While at her home something else has happened, while we had a drink in the living-room, we also met Joan's daughter and grandson, something was strange and I got up and walked torts the conservatory  it looked like a relaxing corner, after I walked in there I looked up and saw a picture on the wall I recognized directly my Michael, on the side of the award with the American  Purple Heart medal in it. I had to look at it twice, but it was Michael indeed, Marvelous to see this, as I believed that all Michaels belongings had disappeared. I took some photographs whom are at my website now. The rest of our days at Providence where beautiful.

So we want to thank everyone from the bottom of our heart, whom made our stay in Providence possible. For us this trip is  unforgettable. We want to take this opportunity to say thanks to, all the people whom made us feel at home, John and Patricia, Frank and Eleonar, Joan, Fred, Libby, Ron, Mike and Rita, Sandy Aram, Ralph and many others whom I have not forgotten.

Thank you all, and God bless you and your great Country the USA

Till we meet again, 


Ben and Henriëtte Savelkoul


















11 November 2007

The WWII Memorial has been Dedicated!



Ready for Dedication.

The ribbon cutting ceremony at the dedication of the new Rhode Island WWII Memorial.

The national anthem is sung by Brenda Rios, TSGT, RIANG, as the acting chairman of the commission, retired General Reginald Centracchio salutes.

Joseph T. Corrente, Chairman of WWII Memorial Commission of Rhode Island, speaks at the dedication ceremony.


A shadow on the names etched in the granite of the new Rhode Island WWII Memorial in Providence.

(Photos from Projo, The Providence Journal)





Photos of Memorial at Night

November 5th, 2007

(Photos John DeFusco)




The Memorial  under construction!


Emblems of the 39 cities and towns in Rhode Island are on the inside wall of the memorial with the number of citizens who served in WWII.

Close up of the wall of names



20 December 2007

Today I made my own "Shadowbox of Rhode Island WWII Memorial"

I received a part of the dedication-Ceremony Ribbon and the official Programbook from John DeFusco (Cranston RI.)