Wednesday marks the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on America. In Rhode Island, the day will be observed with a solemn ceremony in North Smithfield, where North Smithfield Fire & Rescue Services Chief Joel D. Jillson and his men will raise and lower the flag to half-staff in memory of those who lost their lives, including 343 firefighters.
“When we merged with the Primrose department six months after the event on Sept. 11, we incorporated the phrase ‘Never Forget’ in Latin on our new emblem patch and make no mistake, a lot of us have forgotten, unfortunately,” says Jillson.
Jillson says the department holds the ceremony every year in remembrance of those who were lost, including Amy N. Jarret of North Smithfield, the daughter of Aram P. Jarret Jr., a local attorney with offices on Eddie Dowling Highway. Amy was a flight attendant on United Flight 175 out of Boston and died at the age of 28 when terrorists seized the aircraft and flew it into the South Tower of the World Trade Center on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001.
The brief ceremony, which is open to the public, takes place at 9 a.m. at Station # 2, located at 675 St. Paul St., and will include the ringing of the last alarm, the raising and lowering of the flag and firefighters’ bereavement flag, and a collective salute.
The 12th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks will also be remembered at a solemn ceremony at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport where college President Rear Adm. Walter E. “Ted” Carter Jr., a native of Burrillville, will be one of the speakers.
The remembrance ceremony will be held at noon at the Patriots Memorial, located on campus at Naval Station (NAVSTA) Newport.
The ceremony will honor the 11 fallen Naval War College students and alumni killed on Sept. 11, 2001, including Capt. Gerald F. DeConto; Lt. Cmdr. Robert R. Elseth; Capt. Lawrence D. Getzfred; Ms. Angela Houtz; Cmdr. Patrick J. Murphy; Lt. Jonas Panik; retired Capt. Jack D. Punches Jr.; Cmdr. Robert A. Schlegel; Cmdr. Dan F. Shanower; U.S. Army Maj. Kip Taylor; and retired Capt. John D. Yamnicky Sr.
The ceremony will last approximately 30 to 45 minutes and will feature a wreath laying, music by Navy Band Northeast, and remarks from Rear Adm. Carter, a native of Pascoag who attended Burrillville Junior and Senior High School and received his nomination to attend the U.S. Naval Academy from Sen. Claiborne Pell.
Other scheduled speakers Wednesday will be U.S. Army Lt. Col. William Bestermann and U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col. Donald Thieme.
Bestermann, a student at NWC, was assigned to 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 11, 2001, and participated in search and rescue efforts following the 9/11 attacks.
Thieme, a NWC faculty member, will reflect on his neighbor and close personal friend, Capt. DeConto, an NWC graduate killed while serving at the Pentagon’s Navy Command Center during the attacks.
Additionally, the late Frank Hanson will be recognized Wednesday for his contributions in building the Patriots Memorial, which consists of a section of limestone removed from the damaged portion of the Pentagon, located on campus at Naval Station Newport.
Hanson, a local Rhode Islander who served in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam, died on July 27.