This Sept. 11, the nation marked the 22nd anniversary of the tragic terrorist attack that occurred on Sep. 11, 2001 (9/11). 19 terrorists associated with the extremist group al-Qaeda hijacked four commercial airliners. The hijackers targeted the World Trade Center towers in New York City and the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. A fourth plane, United Airlines Flight 93, crashed in Pennsylvania after passengers attempted to regain control from the hijackers. For many, this is considered one of the darkest days in American history.
For many students at Florida State University (FSU), it’s a day that holds deep historical significance. Yet, it’s also a day most students can’t personally remember. The average undergraduate student at FSU was born after 2001, making it crucial to educate about and commemorate this pivotal moment in our nation’s history.
Despite having classes today, there are various ways we can honor 9/11 and never forget the lives lost and the heroes who emerged in the face of adversity.
Flag Placing at Union Green
Last night, the Veterans Student Union invited FSU students and faculty to participate in our campus’ annual tribute to the 2,977 victims of 9/11. Each victim was honored with a flag placed on Union Green. These 2,977 flags serve as a visual reminder of the lives lost that day. The display will remain outside the Student Union until tomorrow night at 7 p.m., giving everyone the opportunity to pay their respects.
Brandon Joseph, a member of the Veterans Student Union, participated in the flag placing. He described the experience by saying, “Placing the flag following 9/11 has a significant meaning. It serves as a testament to the resilient human spirit that rose above tragedy and serves as a picture of fortitude in the face of unfathomable loss. The flag stands for our unwavering commitment to one another, to healing, and to respecting the memories of those who have passed away. It represents the continuing fortitude of the American people, a strength that endures even the most trying times in our history, and that is why it is exceptional.”
Visit Tallahassee’s new 9/11 memorial
Earlier today, Tallahassee unveiled a remarkable 9/11 memorial. This memorial is unique as it incorporates an authentic support beam from the South Tower of the World Trade Center. This beam serves as the gnomon of a sundial, casting shadows on timestamps throughout the day symbolizing the timeline of the day’s tragic events, from the first plane striking the North Tower at 8:46 a.m. to the collapse of World Trade Center Building 7 at 5:20 p.m. Adjacent to the sundial is a pillar adorned with eight plates etched with the names of those who lost their lives in the attack. Visiting this memorial allows us to connect with the past and honor the memory of those we lost.
While you may not have personal memories of 9/11, you can actively engage in learning and remembrance. Please take a moment today to educate yourself about the day’s events, the heroes who emerged, and the impact they had on our nation. Read a book, watch a documentary, or listen to survivor stories. Understanding our history helps us build a brighter future.
Don’t Be Afraid to Talk About 9/11
While the events of 9/11 may be seen as a distant memory for some, it’s essential to recognize that talking about it today is encouraged and necessary. Initiating dialogue about 9/11 is a way to ensure that we never forget. It allows us to gain a deeper understanding of the impact of that day on our nation and the world, even if we were born after it occurred. These conversations foster empathy and create connections with those who lived through this historic moment. Talking about 9/11 is an act of remembrance, respect, and unity.