PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The 16th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on Monday is a time to honor the thousands of innocent victims who died and pay tribute to the heroism of the first responders, Gov. Gina Raimondo said.

The Democratic governor, members of the state’s congressional delegation, police officers and family members of attack victims gathered at Rhode Island State Police Headquarters in North Scituate, Rhode Island.

Raimondo said it’s also a day to reflect on the ways in which the nation came together after unimaginable tragedy and “showed the world the power of the indomitable American spirit.”

Other ceremonies were held Monday throughout Rhode Island, including at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island.

In Newport, remarks were given by the college’s comptroller, Mark Murphy, a retired Navy captain who was working in the Pentagon, one of the attacked buildings, on Sept. 11, 2001. Murphy recalled how the impact of the crash pushed him and his chair into a pillar as the lights went out and the smell of aviation fuel began to enter the office spaces.

The events of 9/11 are changing from “vivid memory to profound history,” Murphy said, since about a quarter of all Americans are too young to have any recollection of the day.

“What hasn’t changed, though, is the American spirit that drives us to reflect on the moments of our past that shape our history and define our destiny,” he said, according to his prepared remarks. “It is this spirit that brought strangers together after 9/11, regardless of background. We connected in grief and patriotism. We helped each other.”

The ceremony was a way to honor the fallen and recall the unsung heroes who stepped up, Murphy added.

U.S. and state flags at state facilities and buildings are at half-staff Monday.