11 years later, WVU remembers
Published: Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, September 12, 2012 07:09
West Virginia University students gathered Tuesday at a candlelight vigil to honor loved ones and commemorate the lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001.
A tree was lit in front of Clark Hall and the Downtown Campus Library from 7 a.m. and maintained during the day as an effort to remember those lost in the attacks.
WVU Student Government Association sponsored the vigil.
SGA President Zach Redding said he felt it was vital for the WVU community to take time to commemorate the events that took place 11 years ago.
"Myself and other members of SGA decided that doing something in honor and remembrance of those who lost their lives on Sept. 11 was essential," Redding said.
Among the nearly 3,000 lives lost in the terrorist attacks, WVU lost two alumni, Jim Samuel Jr. and Chris Gray.
Both Samuel and Gray worked in the World Trade Center at brokerage firms.
A red, white and blue wreath was placed in front of the tree symbolizing the University’s pride in America.
Redding said the candlelight vigil provides students, faculty and the state an opportunity to show the nation and the world that WVU honors all who were affected by the events. "Those who lost their lives are
endeared to us as heroes and as humans," he said.
"We wanted to ensure that the sacrifices of so many are forever honored and remembered, not only by the SGA but by WVU as a whole."
The WVU Air Force and Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps was also involved by hosting a standing vigil.
There was a WVU army and air force cadet in uniform standing, guarding and keeping watch over the tree for 24 hours to pay respects.
"Even if I wasn’t in ROTC, being a part of this is something I can do to remember Sept. 11," said ROTC member and senior Ben Carrero.
"What happened on that day has defined our generation, and we should always try to remember everything that has happened."
Redding said he was
excited for the opportunity to be a part of a community that honors the courageous acts made by thousands of Americans on that day.
"Personally, I am very happy that I am engaged and work with individuals who are so committed to remembering the sacrifices that were made on Sept. 11, 2001," Redding said.
"As a person, Sept. 11 has shaped me and a lot of people’s lives. It has changed everything about our world," Carrero said.
"Everything before and post tragedy is
WVU being a part of this ceremony is the smallest thing we can do to give back."
WVU sophomore Sadie Kalathunkal said she wore a sweatshirt depicting an American flag to show her pride and support for America.
"This day is engraved in my mind. I remember it like yesterday," she said.
"Sept. 11 is going to
forever be an important day, and it is important to me to show pride in my country.
Remembering and honoring those that lost their lives is the least that we can do."