PROVIDENCE - May 27, 2011
Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Roberts was joined by Brigadier General Marcus Jannitto, Commander, Joint Force Headquarters, Rhode Island National Guard, today at the State House to commemorate Memorial Day. Roberts and Jannitto honored Rhode Island’s service men and women with a wreath laying at the Garden of Heroes, officially dedicated in 2005 to “Rhode Island service members who made the ultimate sacrifice during operations in support of the global war on terrorism since September 11, 2001.”
“Although today’s wreath laying ceremony is a simple act, it is a powerful act of remembrance for those Rhode Islanders who have bravely served and selflessly given their lives to protect our country and our freedoms,” said Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Roberts. “This gathering--and others taking place this Memorial Day weekend--help ensure that we will never forget the service of our Armed Forces.”
After welcome remarks by Lt. Governor Roberts and General Jannitto, Gold Star parent Dick August read the poem, "Little Did We Know That Morning." The poetry reading was followed by the wreath laying and moment of silence. The playing of Taps closed out the ceremony. In attendance were many Gold Star Families (parents and families of fallen soldiers), Congressman David Cicilline, Governor Lincoln Chafee, Secretary of State Ralph Mollis, Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed, Representative Ray Gallison (Chair of the Committee on Veterans' Affairs), Capitol Police Chief Joseph Little, and several members of the RI National Guard.
The garden, located on the southwest lawn of the State House, was created by legislation introduced on behalf of Lt. Gov. Charles Fogarty by Senate President M. Teresa Paiva Weed and House Speaker Gordon Fox. Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Roberts is continuing the lieutenant governor’s office tradition of supporting our men and women of the Armed Forces with programs such as Operation Holiday Cheer, the Military Family Relief Fund, and the Garden of Heroes.