SPRINGFIELD – Governor George H. Ryan today announced that Wednesday, September 11, 2002 has been declared “Prayer and Remembrance Day” in Illinois. Governor Ryan will begin ceremonies commemorating the one-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington at 8:30 A.M. Wednesday on the state capitol plaza between the firefighter and police officer memorials.
Following an announcement by President George W. Bush last week ordering all American flags be flown at half-staff on the anniversary, Governor Ryan ordered that all Illinois flags be flown at half-staff out of respect for the victims and their families. Governor Ryan also encouraged citizens to participate in community events, memorial services, ringing of bells, and evening candlelight vigils that will take place on Wednesday.
“We will come together this September 11th to celebrate our American heroes,” Governor Ryan said. “In response to terror and devastation, our nation came together, stronger and more committed to freedom. September 11th will be a day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice and the brave men and women who are fighting for our freedom today.”
The event will begin with a 21-gun salute marking the exact time the Pentagon was struck, and will also include a fly-over by an F-16 military jet.
The ceremony will honor the police officers, firefighters, military personnel and citizen heroes who lost their lives in the tragic attacks. The ceremony will also pay tribute to the service men and women fighting in the War on terrorism.
The Governor will be joined by State Fire Marshal Ernest Russel, Director of the Illinois State Police Sam Nolen, and Major General David Harris – Adjutant General of the Illinois National Guard.
The ceremony is open to the public.