Military, firefighters, police officers and members of the UM community gathered at the Rock Plaza Friday afternoon to pay tribute to the men, women and children who lost their lives in the horrific terror attacks on September 11, 2001 in New York City, Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania.
The ‘National Day of Service and Remembrance 9/11 Memorial’ event marks the 15 year anniversary of the attacks that claimed the lives of 2,996 innocent Americans, injuring 6,000 more. The attack is one of the largest terrorist attacks in U.S. history and is one that the University plans to “never forget.”
Pat Whitely, vice president of student affairs, said “UM is proud to honor the victims of this tragedy each year and is dedicated to ensuring the University community never forgets the horrific events of 9/11."
Her words reigned true as students, faculty and staff gathered to pay their respects to the brave souls who lost their lives in the senseless attack.
The memorial kicked off as the crowd was asked to rise for a rendition of the National Anthem performed by the Hammond-Butler Inspirational Concert Choir. Many bowed their heads, some raised a hand over their hearts, and others shed tears as the memorial began.
Following the rendition, Student Government President Vikesh Patel addressed the crowd with a powerful speech on inclusivity and belonging.
“9/11 reminds us that we must practice inclusivity and acceptance of all people,” he said. “Our campus is a campus that is open to everyone regardless of identity, race, or religion, creating a culture of belonging.”
He reminded everyone that the Counseling Center offers support for people who may still be grieving and that “it is important to look out for each other and every member of our ‘Canes community.”
The memorial, which first started following the attacks in 2001, was held with the help of the Butler Center for Service.