5th Anniversary of the Rhode Island nightclub fire


Today marks the fifth anniversary of the tragic Warwick, R.I. Station Nightclub tragedy. 100 people were killed when pyrotechnics were set off during a Great White concert.

The fire actually occurred on Feb. 20, but today was the day that family and friends of those who survived and perished met on a barren strip of asphalt to pay their respects.

Survivors and relatives of the 100 people killed huddled next to a memorial of crosses and photographs on the grounds of The Station nightclub, with some wearing shirts bearing their loved one’s picture and crying softly as the name of each person killed was read aloud.

“It is still so difficult to imagine that that much time has passed, since that night is so vivid in our hearts and minds,” Jessica Garvey, whose sister, Dina DeMaio, died in the fire, told the crowd.

A memorial will be built on the grounds so that that night will never be forgotten.

A 100-string Aeolian harp will create soothing music and contribute to the “natural healing landscape,” said Stephen Greenleaf, a Rhode Island architect and one of the designers.

“Five years ago, a great tragedy happened right here on this cold and barren slab of asphalt,” said Thomas Viall, another of the designers. “Where will we stand five years from now? That was a central question Stephen and I attempted to answer through our design.”

Our thoughts go out to those lost that night. It should have never happened. Let’s hope some sort of closure or measure of grief has been reached.

Also: Here are the plans for the memorial to be built.
Elsewhere: Here is an interview and story I did with a father who’s son died that night. He wrote a book about it.

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