Rhode Island to commemorate 9/11 attacks with State House ceremony
Flags are displayed at the 9/11 Memorial at the site of the former World Trade Center complex in New York City. (Janine L. Weisman/Rhode Island Current)
PROVIDENCE — A solemn ceremony will be held in the Bell Room of the Rhode Island State House Monday morning to mark the 22nd anniversary of the deadliest terror attack on U.S. soil.
Gov. Dan McKee has directed U.S. and Rhode Island flags to remain at half-staff at all state facilities and buildings on Monday, Sept. 11. McKee also asks Rhode Islanders to lower their flags as a sign of respect.
At 8:30 a.m., McKee will lead a ceremony in memory of the almost 3,000 killed in the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001. The attacks were planned by members of Al-Qaeda, an Islamic fundamentalist group led by Osama Bin Laden — who was killed by U.S. Special Forces in Pakistan in 2010.
The attack directly led to a 20-year long military intervention in Afghanistan led by the U.S. It ended with a military by the U.S. and its allies and collapse of the Afghan secular government in 2021.
“On this 22nd anniversary of the September 11th terror attacks, we honor the treasured memories of those lost and the lasting legacy of bravery and heroism shown by every day Americans who leapt into action to save the lives of strangers,” McKee and Lt. Gov. Sabina said in a joint statement issued Friday. “As Rhode Islanders, and as Americans, we remain committed to honoring their memory and standing with them as one.”
“While we saw fear, concern, and panic on that morning,” the statement continued, “and in the days and weeks that followed – we also witnessed inspiring acts of bravery and heroism that showed the very best of America, from first responders who ran into the burning buildings, to everyday Americans who banded together to lend a hand.”
Among those speaking will be Patrick Nassaney, the father of Shawn Nassaney, 25, of Pawtucket who died along with his girlfriend Lynn Goodchild when their United Airlines Flight 175 crashed into the South Tower of the World Trade Center. The two were on their way to Hawaii.
“We stand behind the families of the nine Rhode Islanders lost on 9/11 and our state’s Gold Star families to support them as they grieve,” McKee and Matos said.
Raptakis to introduce 9/11 bill for 2024 legislative session
Coventry Democratic Sen. Leonidas Raptakis is planning to reintroduce a bill seeking to allow teachers in public schools to recognize the 9/11 attacks with a brief moment of silence when the General Assembly returns.
“It’s important to recognize this terrible moment in our history and to memorialize those who lost their lives or loved ones on that day,” Raptakis said in a news release issued Friday. “I hope that the legislature will take action on this legislation to allow Rhode Island educators to join with their colleagues in New York in having the chance to honor future anniversaries.”
The senator last introduced the same legislation in 2022, modeled on a New York state law. It was held for study by the Senate Committee on Education on March 9, 2022.
Raptakis will be among those participating in Monday’s State House ceremony.
U.S. Naval War College plans observance
The U.S. Naval War College in Newport will honor the 11 war college students and alumni who lost their lives on 9/11 in a commemoration ceremony to be held at noon on Monday at the college’s 9/11 Patriot Memorial. The event is for U.S. Naval War College students, alumni, faculty and staff.
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