SCITUATE, R.I. (WPRI) — While terrorists may continue to search for ways to sow fear and circumvent security measures, we have learned immeasurable lessons in the years since September 11, 2001, Eyewitness News Analyst Lt. Gen. Reginald Centracchio (ret.) said on Tuesday, marking 17 years since the terror attacks at a ceremony at the Rhode Island state police headquarters in Scituate.
On Tuesday’s remembrance, he said, “I think it’s absolutely essential that we have these ceremonies. Because what happened to us 17 years ago is absolutely important that we pass on to future generations, the importance of who we are, what our values are.”
“I think the country is certainly stronger than it was prior to 9/11,” he continued. “We’ve seen a tremendous improvement in how we take care of our security concerns, not only from the actual, physical aspects of it, but how we recognize terrorism before it takes place.”
The former adjutant general of Rhode Island and commanding general of the Rhode Island National Guard from 1995 until his retirement in 2005, Centracchio served as director of the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency and the state’s Homeland Security Advisor, the first adjutant general to hold all three positions simultaneously.
The lessons include, “Certainly, not to take anything for granted. To be aware of your surroundings at all times, both as an individual as well as a nation. And to be able to identify those things and take action before they actually happen, and I think that’s put us in a better position,” and made us a safer country, Centracchio said.