“Whenever I hear that date, it still gives me chills,” sophomore Alex Birsh, a New York City native, said.
His reverence of one of America’s greatest tragedies, the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, was shown to be shared by many as Quinnipiac students came together on the Arnold Bernhard library steps Thursday night.
It was seven years ago that Al-Qaeda suicide bombers hijacked four commercial planes and headed for the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and Washington D.C. All four left their mark on American history, despite the fact that three hit their intended targets. And just as the marks left at Ground Zero in New York City remain, so do the scars on American people.
“You had 3,000 innocent people die in one selfish act,” New Jersey firefighter Michael Falciani, who was present at the Quinnipiac service, said. “And some people say it’s time to get over it–time to move on. But this is big. It’s like Pearl Harbor. We can’t forget it.”
The night began with a welcome from QU Republicans vice chairperson Caitlin Faford.
“Tonight we are here to honor and remember the lives lost,” she began. “We are here to remember all of our fallen heroes.”
Catholic chaplain Jonathan Kalisch continued with an invocation prayer and the keynote speaker, chair of the Schweitzer Institute’s service learning committee Greg Garvey, followed. David Ives, executive director of the Schweitzer Institute, was the planned speaker, but was unable to get to the ceremony.
“All living things simply desire to live,” Garvey said. “This ceremony recognizes the great sacrifice of life.”
After a few words from Norianna Cohen and Daniel Schutzbank of Hillel, the Praise “2” Him ensemble performed “My Country ‘Tis of Thee.”
Lawrence Bremer concluded the ceremony with a poem by Jack Foshee Jr. entitled, “A Nation of Survivors.”
Approximately 200 students and faculty members attended the ceremony, holding vigil candles and prayer cards under the dark sky.
“It’s such a tragic event in American history,” Knights of Columbus head T.J Buzzeo said. “It’s going to be in the history books. No matter how many years have passed, it’s going to be remembered. And it’s important for Quinnipiac to show that.”