The flag was displayed on Main Street during the Columbus Day Parade. Pictured, left to right, Assemblyman Andrew Raia, Ronald James Sorenson, Robert Fonti, and John Sferaza.
“I am truly honored to be able to present the symbolic flag that stands for not only hope, but also honors the memories of those who have been so abruptly taken from their loved ones by the act of terrorism,” said Raia.
Raia said the flag, which is entitled “MIA – OON” stands for Missing in Attack On Our Nation” with the added words “You will always be remembered,” is designed to symbolize the horrors of terrorism. The yellow color stands for the hope that those taken by terrorist attacks will be returned to their loved ones while the black color honors those who have died. An image of a mother holding a child’s hand represents the vulnerability of innocents to terrorist attacks.
Raia noted that the flag, which has recently flown over the state capitol of Rhode Island, has also flown at such notable sites as Camp Arifjan in Kuwait and has been presented to former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, among other elected officials and civilian notables. This past Memorial Day, it was presented to Captain Michael Hawley of the aircraft carrier U.S.S Wasp and flown on the yardarm as the carrier left New York harbor.
“I will introduce legislation seeking to have this flag flown for 30 days once a year at around the 9/11 date,” said Raia. “I would like to see other legislators from other states introduce the same legislation. The goal is to make this a worldwide flag so that places such as London, Madrid, Tokyo and Beirut, which have been stricken by terror, can send a message that together we stand and we will not succumb to such aggression.”