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Rhode Island

Rhode Island is the smallest US state. Providence is its only conurbation. Like other New England cities, it has a Lithuanian community. Until being closed down in 2017, St. Casimir church was its hub. Unlike in the other neighboring states, there were never any more Lithuanian churches in Rhode Island and this one continued to celebrate mass in Lithuanian language until its closure. ~3500 Lithuanians live in Rhode Island today, no longer concentrated in any single district. Lithuanian social clubs have been closed.

Providence St. Casimir Lithuanian church

Providence St. Casimir Lithuanian church

Next to St. Casimir church stands a memorial to the Lithuanians that commemorates all the groups of Lithuanian people the Providence Lithuanians though to be especially worthy of commemoration. Like many Lithuanian memorials in the USA, it is dedicated to "Lithuanians who fought and died for freedom and those who perished in labor and concentration camps during 50 years of Lithuania's occupation". It is also dedicated to the 5 Lithuanian men from the parish who perished while fighting for the USA in World War 2. And it is dedicated to "Lithuanian Americans who built St. Casimir's church and endowed it with strong faith and rich traditions". The monumental stone is crowned by a traditional Lithuanian sun-cross, mering the Christian and pagan symbolics.

Providence Lithuanian memorial

Providence Lithuanian memorial

Despite a small Lithuanian community Rhode Island is unique for having Lithuanian independence day as an official holiday. The law § 25-2-28 "Lithuanian Independence Day" declares: "The sixteenth day of February shall annually be set aside as a day to be known as "Lithuanian Independence Day." The day is to be observed by the people of this state with appropriate exercises in public places".

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Map of Lithuanian heritage in New England

Map of the Lithuanian heritage in New England (Connectictut, Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island, New Hampshire) and Quebec.

More info on Lithuanian heritage in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire,
Rhode Island, Quebec.

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