This week Tech students honored the memory of victims and survivors of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. As a part of the Tech 9/11 Memorial Project, 2,977 American flags were displayed on the Skiles lawn to commemorate each life that was lost during the tragic attacks. Students volunteered to help create the flag display on the lawn.
“These flags are our way of showing the world that we remember and care for the victims and their families of 9/11,” said Chandler Epp, secretary of College Republicans, which organizes the flag display every year.
A memorial service was conducted at Kessler Campanile at 11 a.m, which commemorated the lives that were lost and also honored the GTPD. The proceedings began with a moment of silence to honor the victims of the tragedy. Various speakers then expressed their sentiments about the tragedy.
Sean Donnelly, a Tech student who spoke at event said, “My uncle was a lieutenant in the FDNY’s Ladder Three Company and was killed in the north tower of the World Trade Center after climbing 60 ﬂoors trying to save everyone he could”.
“The ﬂags are a poignant gesture, and my uncle would be proud to see that students set them up on campus every year,” Epp added.
Shawn Henley, a Marine veteran who was in Iraq, spoke on “a call to action” and encouraged the audience to not give up on the fight against terrorism around the world.
Nicholas Snider, president of the National Museum of Patriotism, formerly a commissioned U.S. Army officer was the main speaker at the event. Snider spoke about the bravery of 9/11 hero British American Rick Rescorla who was credited with safely evacuating more than 3,700 Morgan Stanley employees, before sacrificing his own life when he returned to look for more survivors in the buildings.
“We must never forget why they died, and we must do our part to build a better America in their honor,” Snider added.
In conjunction with SGA, the service also included a ceremony to honor the Georgia Tech Police Department (GTPD) for the work they do in helping keep campus safe. The day was also marked as “Thank a GT Police Officer Day.” Members of the GTPD who were honored with a thank you card from the student body and SGA. Members of GTPD also spoke at the event.
The GT 9/11 Memorial Project was founded by Tech Students in 2003 with the objective of memorializing the anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001 in a meaningful way.
“We will never forget the tragedy of 9/11, which shook our world and still affects every student, I am so pleased to see this project continue on campus,” said Orit Sklar, CE ‘08, who co-founded the GT 9/11 Project in 2003.
This year a record 214 American college and university campuses are holding events to commemorate 9/11 on this eighth anniversary of the tragedy. The ﬂag memorial and ceremony served as a ﬁtting tribute and encouraged students, faculty, alumni, and community members to memorialize those who lost their lives in the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and rural Pennsylvania on that day.