Kutztown University and the Borough of Kutztown recognized the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks with a ceremony on Friday, Sept. 10.
“20 years will have passed since our nation was attacked on September 11. Remembering the profound sense of common purpose and selflessness exhibited that day in New York and across our whole nation is important,” said Tania Brown, director of Veterans and Transfer Services at KU, and Lisa Grabowski, Director of New Student Orientation, ceremony organizers, in a statement.
“We seek to honor those lost and never cease to recognize that freedom is not free. We owe a great debt to those who died, and whose stories are honored.”
The Remembrance Day ceremony honored the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, demonstrated support of the U.S. Armed Forces, and honored and recognized the sacrifice of first responders who gave their lives to help others.
“Our overall goal is to honor the memory of those lost and the sacrifices made that day and beyond by so many,” they said. “KU lost several alumni on 9/11 and we pay tribute to those individuals and all people whose lives have been touched by this event. We will not forget.”
Held outdoors at College Hill Memorial Grove between Old Main and the Stratton Administration Center, the ceremony included moments of silence and the reading of the names of KU Golden Bear alumni who perished that day.
The Kutztown Pipe Band performed a bagpipe tribute to honor those who died on 9/11, as well as those who are sick or who have died from exposure to hazards and toxins in the aftermath.
Members from Ray A. Master Post 217 American Legion of Topton served as the Honor Guard and bugler Sean O’Neill representing Bugles Across America played “Taps.”
The 9/11 Remembrance Day event included remarks and reflections from several speakers, including the KU president, Kutztown Mayor, KU alumni and president of the KU Student Veteran Organization, the Steel Battalion Army ROTC Professor of Military Science, KU Chief of Police, and KU VP of Enrollment Management & Student Affairs.
“The ceremony was a heartfelt reminder of the lives lost in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C. It’s important for those of us living in Kutztown and throughout the USA to remember that life is precious and can be taken away unexpectedly.” — Kutztown Mayor Jim Schlegel
Kutztown Mayor Jim Schlegel said the 9/11 ceremony was held under beautiful weather conditions similar to that tragic date that occurred 20 years ago.
“The ceremony was a heartfelt reminder of the lives lost in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C. It’s important for those of us living in Kutztown and throughout the USA to remember that life is precious and can be taken away unexpectedly,” said Schlegel.
The speakers talked about the sacrifices made by the heroes who responded on 9/11 without regard to their own lives, talked about how the country was united and expressed their gratitude for those who continue to serve today, Schlegel said.
The ceremony concluded with guests laying a single flower as a symbolic token of remembrance at the Bell, an area dedicated in memory of students, alumni, faculty, and staff who have passed away.
Other symbols of remembrance present were 40 American flags placed at the event site to honor the lives lost during the time United Airlines Flight 93 crashed near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
The 9/11 memorial flags were flown alongside the American flag. The Flag of Honor contains the names of all those who perished in the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, United flights 175 and 93 and American flights 11 and 77. The Flag of Heroes contains the names of each of the emergency services personnel who died in the terrorist attacks of 9/11 including FDNY, PAPD, NYPD, EMS, and Court Officers.
“These flags give the victims’ families, friends and all of America and the world a symbol that will forever memorialize all the men, women and children lost that dreadful day,” said Brown and Grabowski in the statement.
Those involved in the ceremony included the Office of Student Involvement, New Student Orientation, Office of Veterans Services, Community Outreach Center, Army ROTC-Steel Battalion, Kutztown National Guard Armory, Military Club at KU, KU Campus Police, VFW Post 560, Ray A. Master Post 217 American Legion (Topton), Kutztown Pipe Band, Bugles Across America, AFSCME Veterans, and Local Heroes.
“We are pleased to have so many organizations commit their support to make this Remembrance Day meaningful,” said Brown and Grabowski.
Following the ceremony, event attendees and non-attendees were invited to participate in the university’s 9/11 Do A Good Deed Donation Drive to serve as a way to keep the same spirit of compassion and unity alive that arose immediately after the 9/11 attacks. The donation drive collected nonperishable items, household cleaning supplies and toiletries for Friend, Inc. and the KU Student Food Pantry.
“To embrace the same spirit of compassion and unity that arose immediately after the 9/11 attacks, we also participating in the 9/11 Do a Good Deed movement where the community of Kutztown University, the Borough of Kutztown, and beyond have united to serve and give back to our community through a donation drive to support Friend, Inc. and KU Student Food Pantry,” said Brown and Grabowski.
Source: Berkshire mont