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State of Rhode Island General Assembly
STATE HOUSE — The Legislative Leap, a fundraising event where state legislators and their guest will jump out of an airplane to raise money for the building of a Beirut Veterans Memorial, has been scheduled for Sunday, June 24, at 9 a.m. Rep. James N. McLaughlin (D-Dist. 57, Cumberland, Central Falls) coordinated the third annual charitable event to raise money for the memorial, which would be built on the grounds of the Rhode Island State House. Checks payable to “Family and Friends of the Rhode Island Nine — Beirut Memorial” can be sent to 26 Reardon Ave., Middletown, RI 02842, care of Charles A. Masterson, USMC, and Charles B. O’Connor, USArmy. “The Rhode Island marines who lost their lives in Beirut represent the best of our state and country,” said Representative McLaughlin, a U.S. Army veteran who currently serves on the House Veterans Affairs Committee. “Their service and sacrifice should never be forgotten, so I’m proud that the proceeds from this year’s event will go toward building an everlasting monument to their memory.” Nine marines from Rhode Island lost their lives in a 1983 terrorist attack on a marine compound in Beirut. They were among 241 American service personnel that perished in the attack. To honor all five branches of the U.S. Armed Forces, each jumper is encouraged to wear a T-shirt representing one of the five armed service branches including the Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marine Corps and Navy. Members of the Army National Guard and Reserves, friends and family will be on hand to cheer the legislators as they descend from the sky. The public is invited to attend to witness the jump, which will take place on Sunday, June 24 at 9 a.m. at Skydive Newport, 211 Airport Access Road, Middletown. For more information, contact Representative McLaughlin at (401) 741-1834, Rep. Rep. Samuel A. Azzinaro (D-Dist. 37, Westerly) at (401) 596-1434 or Rep. Camille F.J. Vella-Wilkinson (D-Dist. 21, Warwick) at (401) 528-1733.