PARADE PROPOSAL: Seeing that Fourth of July has been her favorite day of the year, Steve Bentley of Coventry decided to ask his girlfriend of two years, Amy Flynn, to be his wife.
For most folks, the Fourth of July conjures up images of fireworks, cookouts and stars and stripes.
But for Amy Flynn, a sparkling diamond ring was the centerpiece of Independence Day 2012, as her boyfriend of nearly two years, Steve Bentley of Coventry, got down on one knee and asked her to be his wife moments before the 20th annual Warwick Neck Fourth of July Parade began.
“I was like, ‘What are you doing?’” said Flynn, who grew up in Warwick Neck and now lives off West Shore Road. “All my former neighbors were in the street yelling. I just called my mom and she said, ‘Did you set a date?’ And I was like, ‘it just happened five minutes ago; no, I haven’t set a date yet.’”
A few minutes before the parade began, Bentley was waiting for the right moment to pop the question.
“I was thinking, ‘At what point am I going to do it?’ I figured a good time was right before the parade,” he said.
So, why did Bentley decide to propose on the Fourth of July? The answer is simple.
“She’s very sentimental and this is the neighborhood she grew up in,” said Bentley. “She absolutely loves the Fourth of July. It’s her favorite day of the year.”
Flynn added, “Now more than ever.”
Flynn said Independence Day is special to her because her birthday is three days later on the 7th.
“As a little kid, I felt like the Fourth kicked off my whole birthday,” she said.
The couple joined parade participants and spectators at the home of Bill and Madeline Nixon overlooking Greenwich Bay in the raising of the American flag, slices of cold watermelon and lemonade and cookies. Word of Bentley’s proposal and Flynn’s acceptance circulated quickly and Ann Gooding, who presented certificates to those in the parade, had one especially for the couple. Their distinction was being the first to become engaged during the popular neighborhood celebration.
Flynn flashed her ring for Gini McGinn who, in her excitement, exclaimed, “so much for independence.” When she spotted a reporter taking down the quote, she laughed and added, “Don’t let my husband hear that.”
Following the festivities, the newly engaged couple visited Flynn’s parents, Ralph and Carol, for lunch and then went to the Warwick Country Club to spend the day with their loved ones.
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