PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) ─ On Friday, it will be 19 years since thousands of people were killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
While the coronavirus pandemic has canceled many events this year, Rhode Islanders will still take the time to remember and pay tribute to the lives lost, though it will be different than years past.
Nine people with local ties were killed in the attacks, three of which were from Warwick. This year, the 9/11 ceremony at Oakland Beach will be held virtually and will be streamed on the General Assembly and City of Warwick websites.
In a joint statement with Reps. Joseph Solomon Jr. and Camille Vella-Wilkinson, Mayor Joseph Solomon said he wants the residents of Warwick to commemorate from the safety of their homes.
“With the limitations placed on us by COVID-19, we’re proud that Warwick can stand by its promise to ‘Never Forget,'” the statement reads. “Events such as these serve to bring us closer together as we honor those who fell; and it reminds us of the work we still need to do to combat terrorism around the globe.”
Some 9/11 ceremonies will still be held in person, including the Wall of Honor ceremony in Exeter, though organizers tell 12 News they’ve had to make adjustments to follow the state’s guidelines.
The annual event will start at 8:30 a.m. on the grounds of the Rhode Island Veterans Memorial Cemetery, but will only be attended by 15 people, all of which will be town officials.
“We have a limitation on people and we will pay special attention to remember those Rhode islanders that were lost,” Event leader and veteran William Pennoyer said. “We’re just going to be certain to stay apart, the Wall of Honor is large enough so that we can be comfortable standing without being in close proximity to each other. We have a very strict prohibition, so we would just prefer for people to remember at home what happened on that terrible day.”
Jaycees Alumni of Kent County will also host a 9/11 remembrance ceremony, which is open to the public.
They’re also recruiting volunteers for a beautification and cleanup of the Jaycee Corridor and Arboretum at Riverpoint Park. Anyone interested in joining can contact Jack Lancellotta at (401) 828-9191.
The Sail for Hope in Newport will take place as planned on Saturday, and organizers say they have more than 60 boats signed up to participate.