In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the State of Connecticut was propelled to action. The initial response focused on securing Connecticut and its citizens and offering assistance to New York. In the days to follow, Governor John G. Rowland and Lt. Governor M. Jodi Rell spoke at interreligious services, candlelight vigils, and memorial services around the state offering emotional support to the community.
In the weeks after, Governor Rowland personally called family members as the Connecticut victims became known and offered assistance in any way. Many families began calling his office for help which led the governor's decision to set up Connecticut Helps - Office of Family Support to serve as a clearing house for information and as an advocate for the families. Governor Rowland charged Brian Mattiello with leading this effort with the assistance of DeAnna Paugas of the Department of Children and Families and Jim Sorensen of the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.
The Office of Family Support and several private citizens formed a planning committee in May 2002 to search for a site for a permanent 9-11 memorial, selecting Sherwood Island State Park in Westport. Construction of the memorial began in August and Connecticut's 9-11 Living Memorial was dedicated at the state's first anniversary memorial service on September 5, 2002. The memorial continues to be the site of the state's annual official Day of Remembrance ceremony. For more information see Connecticut's 9-11 Living Memorial. Other September 11 memorial sites in Connecticut include: Windsor High School 9-11 Memorial; McCourt Memorial Garden in New London; Enfield 9/11 Memorial Garden; and 9-11 Memorial Sports Center in Wethersfield. For a partial list of memorials see VOICES of September 11th Memorials, Connecticut.
The approximately 150 victims with ties to Connecticut are listed in the Connecticut Remembers 9-11 Memorial Service program, 2003.
This digital collection presents approximately 206 objects, which together document the response of Connecticut state government to the terrorist attacks both immediately and over time. The collection includes correspondence, memorandums, speeches, photographs, programs from memorial services, and letters of condolence to the State of Connecticut from foreign governments. The bulk of the items are from the records of Governor John G. Rowland, Governor M. Jodi Rell, and the Office of Family Support.
David Vrooman, a MLS student at Southern Connecticut State University, assisted with scanning and metadata.