Monica Szakacs — News Editor
In front of Conn Hall and with 3,000 American Flags in the background, 70 members of the Southern community came together for a time of remem¬brance and speeches for the 10th anniversary of 9/11.
At the podium stood the SCSU choir, Southern police officers holding American flags and various representatives from the university. The words and melody of “Amazing Grace” were heard through the crowd as the choir sang. James Furlong, Interfaith Office representative and SCSU Chaplin, opened the ceremony with a prayer and invited the audience to pray as well.
“ God of peace, bring us Your peace in this violent world,” said Furlong.
Friday, Southern hosted an event where anyone on campus could sign a banner and write their thoughts concerning 9/11. When Dr. Peter Troiano, interim vice president for student and university affairs, delivered his speech, he read some of the quotations that were written on the banner.
“To everybody who lost a mother, father, sister, brother, son or daughter, know you have the entire country for support. Your loved ones will never be forgotten. God bless you with strength to get you through this all. —Tyler K.”
“Ten years have passed but the spirits of those gone have not been forgotten. May their courage and valiance forever live in our hearts. — Kristin Reinwald.”
“A terrible occurrence that caused such tragedy and yet showed the strength of the citizens/people of the United States.”
Troiano said he is proud that everyone who was there was able to stand together at this event to remember and never forget. Ten years later he said he looks back at 9/11 through a different lens; he remembers feeling outrage and anger but wasn’t really aware of the specific time when he finally found a sense of peace, courage and strength.
“Over the 10 years there has come healing and a sense of community,” said Troiano.
Ben McNamee, student representative to the CSU Board of Trustees, said he was glad that he was asked to speak that afternoon because it gave him the chance to reflect on the tragedy during the weekend.
“Patriotism comes to mind looking back at 9/11,” said McNamee. “Every single person wanted to help in one way or another, even if it was just a blood donation. Patriotism to me is not political parties, government or country music; it’s about people and freedom.”
Lytasha Blackwell, student life graduate intern, also talked about patriotism when she said, “We stand here to honor many lives. We stand united as one. We thought they can break our spirits and we said no they won’t.”
Athena Sheth, choir member and 28-year-old junior mathematics major, said she was honored to be a part of the event and feels sorrow for those who were lost that day.
“I could’ve lost an uncle because he worked in the office of the Twin Towers, but he decided to drop something off in a different office and didn’t make it to the meeting that day,” said Sheth.
Army veteran Dan Spencer, who served in Iraq from 2005 to 2006 said he, as many others at the event that day, remembers how America responded afterward as a unit and represented patriotism. Jenna Retort, North Campus Hall director, said it is important that the community comes together to remember significant events.
“I think about where I was 10 years ago and how New York City has progressed and across the US,” said Retort. “It affected the whole world.”
Southern remembers 9/11 on the 10th Anniversary
Monica Szakacs — News Editor