WVU vigil, other commemorative events planned to mark the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11 | WVU today

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(Editor’s note: This is one in a series of new stories marking the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. A story starring two current veteran students and tThe personal story of a WVU law professor who was in Lower Manhattan on September 11 is also available on WVUToday. They are part of a comprehensive media toolkit with photos, videos, and other resources in the WVUToday Media Center.)

Two decades after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, moer members of University of West Virginia Army ROTC and Air Force ROTC keeping watch in shifts for 24 hours, as is the tradition, to mark the anniversary of September 11 at the memorial site of the downtown campus will have no personal memories of that day.

Scott Kendrick, a senior student in global supply chain management and ROTC cadet from the Air Force of Cincinnati, Ohio, is one of them.

He was four years old when 19 al Qaeda militants hijacked four planes that crashed into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York, New York, the Pentagon in Washington, DC, and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, the deadliest terrorist attacks ever. on American soil.

“For my generation, we’ve never been in a non-crisis state,” Kendrick said.

At the time of the attacks, one of her younger comrades, Emily Zirkelbach, a sophomore communications and journalism student from Dallas, Texas, had not yet been born.

Now 19, her 9/11 experience is limited to news footage showing “all the smoke and everything coming out of the building – especially the footage of people jumping from buildings.” It also really stands out, ”she said.

Unlike the terror of that day, what WVU has planned for the 20th anniversary is more thoughtful.

After an opening ceremony with President Gordon Gee At 11:30 a.m. on Friday, September 10, a vigil will be held from 12:00 p.m. that day to 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 11, near the Wise Library.

“Particularly, as a generation born after these shocking attacks grows into adulthood, the continued remembrance of this anniversary serves as a poignant reminder of the vigilance required to keep our nation safe,” said Maj. US Army David Sherck, President and Professor of Military Sciences. , one of the organizers of the vigil.

“Our future leaders watch as a visual representation of our military’s commitment to protect our nation and associate their future service with our remembrance of the past.”

As a cadet, Kendrick was part of the September 11, 2019 vigil at WVU. The 2020 event has been canceled due to COVID-19.

“It is a time of quiet reflection and there are very few times in my day, my week, or even the month that I will have the opportunity to walk quietly for half an hour to just embrace this silence and think about it. something that’s really important and will shape my life for the next – at least – decade, ”Kendrick said.

“It just seems appropriate. It seems necessary.

It was September 11, 2002, the year after the attacks, when students placed the permanent bronze plaque on the campus vigil site with the inscription “We Remember: The Spirit of Those Who were lost on September 11, 2001 lives in all of us. , next to a tree.

Among the thousands of people killed at the World Trade Center were Jim Samuel, a former student and employee of Carr Futures, and Chris Gray, a former Mountaineer quarterback from 1988 to 1991, who worked at Cantor Fitzgerald.

Gray’s brother Tim was scheduled to attend the 9/11 Mountaineer football home opener against LIU in Puskar stadium in Milan where a tribute to Gray was planned.

Before the 5 pm kick-off, members of the “Mountain Eagles Gathering”, veterans wounded or injured while serving in Afghanistan, Iraq and Vietnam, were to be honored along with their family members.

Recognition was also provided for first responders who regularly work at WVU football matches.

This year’s anniversary on campus will also include activities related to the National Day of Service and Remembrance, organized through the WVU Center for Community Engagement.

WVU Libraries participate in “September 11, 2001: the day that changed the world”, a downloadable educational exhibit showcasing the history of September 11, its origins and current implications. Comprised of a series of posters, the exhibit can be viewed in person at the Evansdale Library during the fall semester.

Twenty years after the attacks, “Looking at what’s going on in the Middle East now, I think understanding how we got to this point is just as important as understanding what happened 20 years ago. can happen today and, at some point, will most likely happen again, ”Kendrick said.

“Understanding how to respond appropriately and responsibly is absolutely essential. “

Zirkelbach’s goal is to become a public affairs officer in the US Air Force.

From September 11, “It certainly plays a role because people see it and they realize that our country could be attacked at some point if we don’t protect it,” she said.

-WVU-

sj / 09/01/2021

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