A somber ceremony at Plymouth State University’s Memorial Rock commemorated the seventh anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks that claimed nearly 3,000 lives. The noontime gathering drew more than 100 people, who heard speakers relate their personal experience to the attacks and what they’ve learned since September 11, 2001.
Kathy Tardif, Campus Minister, said the phrase, ‘9-11,’ evokes many different kinds of memories for anyone who saw, heard and felt the tragic loss of life that day.
“We bring all of our emotions about that day to this place,” said Tardif. “We remember the suffering and death, the courage and sacrifice that occurred on this day seven years ago.”
PSU senior Lisa Busch was a high school freshman on Long Island who remembered watching from a cafeteria window as the World Trade Center’s twin towers burned.
“The tragedy of 9/11 showed America unity…if nothing else, 9/11 has showed us what coming together as a country, a nation, a community, can do,” said Busch.
Campus Minister Preston Fuller was a volunteer at Ground Zero, and he recalled feeling overwhelming anger, grief and sadness while watching the fruitless recovery efforts, but he also was reassured with the strength, compassion and love the hundreds of firemen, police and construction workers at the site showed toward each other.
“9/11 should teach us something every single day…every single day we wake up
we make a choice about what is going to get us through that day; is it going to be fear? selfishness? Or are we going to choose community, service, hope and love?” Fuller asked.
The town of Plymouth’s Deputy Fire Chief, Tom Morrison, noted there has long been a strong connection between PSU and the Plymouth Fire Department, and a handful of PSU students have gone on to serve with the New York City Fire Department, which lost 343 members on 9/11.
“In almost every case on 9/11, the public safety servants gave their lives for complete strangers…the stories of unselfish love for one another abound from that day,” Morrison said.
The ceremony concluded with a singing of the national anthem and the release of five white pigeons into the blue sky above the ceremony site.
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