University students mark 12th anniversary of 9/11
Student organizations remember the fallen by sponsoring events around grounds
The Burke Society held a memorial remembering lives lost in the Sept. 11 tragedy Wednesday morning on the south end of the lawn, placing flags and displaying a large commemorative board displaying the names of all the victims of the attack..
Kasey Sease, a fourth-year College student and member of the conservative debating organization, said the tradition started 6 years ago.
“We buy as many flags as possible so as many students as possible can participate in this event,” Sease said. “[The event] is not meant to be dreary … it’s done so we can memorialize each person with each individual student, which is more personal than just a group [planting flags] on their own.”
Later in the afternoon, the Class of 2014 Trustees hosted a commemorative flag ceremony in the amphitheater featuring volunteers from the Board of Trustees, as well as career firefighters and volunteer fireman Colin Leslie, a fourth-year Engineering student. Volunteers distributed 300 flags to passersby to commemorate the 12th anniversary of Sept. 11 — and to symbolize the 3,000 people who lost their lives in the attacks.
Organizers of the event, fourth-year Commerce student Chris Zapple and Leslie, both stressed the importance of honoring those who were lost on this day. “This is what defines our generation,” Zapple said. “It reminds us to honor all of the people who fell that day: great soldiers, civilians and then just our everyday heroes — firefighters and those in the police department.”
Hailing from the D.C. and New York areas, respectively, both Zapple and Leslie said they hold a strong connection to this day in history.
The Burke Society ended the day by cosponsoring a memorial vigil with Young Americans for Freedom, featuring Major Tracy Morris, stationed at the National Ground Intelligence Center in Charlottesville.
The service opened with an a cappella rendition of the national anthem, followed by Morris’ speech, closing with a candlelit prayer and moment of silence.
“As the daughter of an immigrant, I was raised to believe this is the greatest country on Earth,” Morris said. “I think along with the rest of the country, I was in shock … when [I heard] two passenger jets had hit the World Trade Center.”
Morris paid tribute to two University graduates killed in the tragic attacks, Glenn Kirwin (Col-’82) and Patrick Murphy (Col-’87). Both were working in New York City when the towers collapsed.
“We have commemorations like this because those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” Morris added. “I challenge you to remember the spirit and compassion behind the 9/11 day of remembrance and service … that united us all during that time.”
_— Correction: The original version of this article incorrectly stated that Major Tracy Morris was a member of the National Guard _