WARWICK, RI — About 80 people attended Warwick’s Sept. 11 remembrance ceremony Wednesday morning at the Oakland Beach Seawall’s memorial to the victims of Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, including three with ties to the city.
The annual event, marking the 18th anniversary of the attack, organized by Rep. Camille F.J. Vella-Wilkinson (D-Dist. 21, Warwick) and Rep. Joseph J. Solomon Jr. (D-Dist. 22, Warwick), was led by Wilkinson. The ceremony included the Warwick Fire Department and Warwick Police Department honor guards, invocation and benediction by Rev. Robert Marciano, pastor of St. Kevin Church, and remarks by Warwick Mayor Joseph J. Solomon Sr.
Councilwoman Donna Travis remarked on the children born at the time of the attacks.
“Now, they are young adults,” Travis said.
She also asked the crowd to consider the three local people who lost their lives to the attacks, memorialized with stones bearing their images: Carol Marie Bouchard, Renee Newell, and Mark Charrette.
“These three people to me are the angels that oversee all these bricks,” Travis said.
Solomon spoke of young people, whose attention to the lessons of sacrifice and heroism displayed during the Sept. 11. attacks provide hope that following generations will not forget.
“They will learn how our country came together in a time of tremendous national grief,” Solomon said.
Dist. 2 School Committee member Judith Cobden, a survivor of the attacks who worked at the American Stock Exchange doors at 86 Trinity, which was on Ground Zero and escaped the falling buildings, retold her experience for the crowd, and asked the public to unite to face the nation’s challenges, to renounce racism and anti-semitism.
“The reality is, hate and indifference was a huge factor in why Sept. 11 happened,” Cobden said.
Nathan Cornell, School Committee Dist. 3 member, played taps on his bugle during the end of the ceremony. Vella-Wilkinson asked the members of the audience to hold hands as the ceremony concluded with the music. Behind the podium and the assembled police and fire honor guards, winds stirred the waters of Greenwich bay. Above them, boughs of the large willow standing near the memorial swayed as the music ended.