Senator Reed took part in the academic procession at the University of Rhode Island’s 130th commencement ceremony, where the Honorable Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, served as the Class of 2016 commencement speaker.
Senator Reed delivered remarks at an event celebrating the removal of the White Rock Dam from the Pawcatuck River in Westerly. The project was completed with federal funds as part of a $1.98 million cooperative agreement between the Nature Conservancy, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and several other organizations. Reed led efforts to secure federal funds for the project during his time as Chairman of the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee to help reduce the risk of future flood threats, reopen the river to migrating fish and other aquatic species, and preserve recreational opportunities. Now that the White Rock Dam has been removed, miles of impounded water will be restored to a free-flowing river. Last month, Senator Reed introduced the High Hazard Potential Small Dam Safety Act, a bipartisan bill with Senator Capito that would help states remove and repair aging dams whose failure could be life-threatening.
Senator Reed joined St. Baldrick's Foundation, Senator Shelley Moore Capito, and over 300 advocates & organizations to discuss the Childhood Cancer Survivorship, Treatment, Access, and Research (STAR) Act of 2015. This legislation is a comprehensive effort that would take the next needed steps to advance pediatric cancer research and child-focused cancer treatments while also improving childhood cancer surveillance and providing resources for survivors and those impacted by childhood cancer.
The Steamship Historical Society of America (SSHSA) announced today that it has received a competitive grant to build an interactive website experience that will help share some of the organization’s vast archives with a worldwide audience. U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, and Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian were on hand to announce the $50,000 award, presented by the National Parks Service through the National Maritime Heritage Grant Program. Federal funds for the program were generated from the scrapping and sale of obsolete vessels from the Maritime Administration’s National Defense Reserve Fleet, which were purchased for recycling.
“Steamships have played an important role in American history, and I commend the Steamship Historical Society of America for winning this competitive grant. This program helps document, preserve, and advance our maritime heritage and share it with a wider audience. Once completed, this project will be a great tool for educators, researchers, and the general public,” said Senator Reed.
The interactive online experience, titled “Steaming into the Future,” will focus on a period beginning in 1807 when the first commercially viable American steam engines were successfully powering ships. This began the transition from sail to steam-powered vessels and transformed shipping, commerce and travel across America.
Senator Reed spoke at the Hmong and Lao SGU Veterans of America National Recognition Day ceremony, which commemorated the 40th anniversary since these veterans, who were recruited by the CIA to fight in the Vietnam War, left Laos and resettled in the United States. The event was held at the Fisher Student Center at Bryant University. Other speakers at the event included representatives from the Hmong United Association of RI and the PWC Center for Diversity Inclusion at Bryant University. Traditional Lao and Hmong dances were performed.
In 2000, Senator Reed cosponsored the Hmong Veterans’ Naturalization Act, a law that gave Hmong and Laotians who fought alongside Americans in Vietnam -- and their wives and widows who came to the U.S. -- the opportunity to become American citizens. The law allowed up to 45,000 Hmong veterans and their spouses who aided the U.S. during the Vietnam War to take the citizenship exam. Senator Reed is also a cosponsor of the Hmong Veterans Service Recognition Act (S. 1358) to give these individuals the right to be buried in U.S. national cemeteries.
Senator Reed spoke at the first annual Rhode Island Holocaust Memorial Yom HaShoah ceremony, which took place at the Rhode Island Holocaust Memorial along River Walk in Providence. Other speakers at the ceremony included Jeffrey K. Savit, President & CEO of the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island, Cantor Jodi Blankstein, Rabbis Wayne Franklin and Howard Voss-Altman, and Herbert B. Stern, Chair of the Rhode Island Holocaust Memorial Committee. Two poems were recited by 5th graders from the Jewish Community Day School of Rhode Island.
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