Each year, The Department of Rhode Island, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War honors an individual outside of the organization as its “Citizen of the Year,” and awards that person the RISUVCW’s Stephen H. Kettle Award. This deserving individual should be one whose efforts have been above and beyond in aiding the mission of the Sons and perpetuated the memory of the old “boys in blue.”
At the Sons’ annual awards dinner on April 5, 2019, the Kettle Award was given to Kat Boots of the Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy. “Ms. Boots’ efforts on the Providence 1871 Soldiers and Sailors Monument restoration project is well known, but it is her constant advocacy for the SUVCW and her willingness to assist our mission at each step of the way that makes her extraordinary,” stated James P. McGuire, immediate Past Department Commander of the RISUVCW. “This is someone who has discovered a passion for learning about the men whose names are on that monument, and for connecting those names to the descendants in order to enrich their lives and help give all of us a more complete telling of our shared history. From championing our 150th anniversary of Memorial Day at the monument’s base last May 30, to always inviting SUVCW representation along with her at public events and speaking engagements, Kat has, in so many ways, become a true partner to the Department, and we felt that she was truly deserving of this award in 2019.”
Upon receiving the award Kat said, “It is an honor to be the recipient of the 2019 Stephen H. Kettle award. Working with the RISUVCW on this project has been both instrumental and inspirational and I am grateful to have gotten the opportunity.”
The Stephen H. Kettle Award is named for Pvt. Stephen H. Kettle of the 2nd Rhode Island Infantry, ancestor of Leo F. Kennedy, Past Commander-in-Chief of the Sons of Union veterans of the Civil War, a member of the Major General Zenas R. Bliss Camp no. 12, Department of Rhode Island.
Learn more about this historic project, and watch the short film Public Memory/Public Spaces created by Jamie here. If you would like to be a part of this historic restoration, please consider making a donation today.