Celebrated each year, the Sunday before Memorial Day Weekend Neighbor Day has been recognized in the town of Westerly since 1993 and in the state of Rhode Island as well as Boys Nation, presented by Daryl Finizio of Westerly, since 1994.
In 1993 the town of Westerly suffered a tragedy involving teenagers, which resulted in one youth losing his life and another his freedom. Out of this misfortune Neighbor Day was born with the idea of producing equality, respect, dignity, justice but most of all love for our neighbor. In order to accomplish this task, it is important to get to know our neighbor. Since the Neighbor Day inception, public open houses are organized to encourage brotherhood within the community. Town officials and local businesses and business leaders usually coordinate these socials. Individual families also host open houses inviting friends and neighbors into their homes in order to bolster friendships within their own neighborhoods. In addition, interaction via a simple letter/fax/Internet (e-mail) identifying oneself and indicating sincere concern for one another is encouraged. A simple "hello, my name is....I'm thinking of you and praying for you" would be adequate.
Neighbor Day will hopefully bring all neighbors together - past, present, and future.... a day for us to celebrate and learn what Neighbor Day is all about. "Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself" is a great Commandment past down through the ages and recognized in our daily life. Love of Neighbor should also be a part of one's life, not only on Neighbor Day, but everyday for everyone.
Neighbor Day's Goal is National and Worldwide Recognition. Through the efforts of Senator Claiborne Pell and Senator Jack Reed, the Resolution -Town of Westerly was recorded in the Congressional Record (Re-link) on January 26, 1996.