15 years later WSC remembers

Janet Grado, Staff Writer

Fifteen years ago, for the second time in its history, the United States was attacked on American soil.

On Sept. 11, 2001, two commercial airplanes hit the World Trade Center, while another airplane hit the Pentagon in Washington D.C. The last hijacked airplane crashed into a rural Pennsylvania field.

The events of that day shook our country to the core. Fear and uncertainty gripped onto people. But in the midst of all this negativity, people came together.

In remembrance of this tragic day in American history, Wayne State College had a 15th Anniversary Community and Campus Commemoration on Sunday.

This ceremony came about when Lisa Nelson, the director of Service Learning, got an email from the National Youth Leadership Council in July. This email was sent to different colleges and universities so ceremonies similar to the one held on Sunday could be held all over the country to bring generations together.

Dr. Marysz Rames, president of Wayne State College, approved the plan, and Nelson pulled a small committee together which included: the Criminal Justice Club, the Counseling Center, the Music Department, Philomathians, Professors Eric Colvard and Susan Ellis, Residence Life, Service-Learning and TRiO.

“By having the event, we remind people that even though it was a sad and tragic event, we worked together to help solve the problems and we were there for each other. We don’t have to have a national tragedy to work together. It will remind people that we work well together and we can do it again.” said Nelson.

Cards were handed out to people attending the ceremony to write their thoughts on the back. These cards will be displayed in the Kanter Student Center for others to read.

The ceremony began with Nelson welcoming all those who came together for the commemoration, followed by the presentation of colors by the Wayne Boy Scouts. Afterwards, Rames made some opening comments.
She began by thanking everyone for being there and reminded the audience how important it is for everyone to come together to remember and never forget the tragedy of 9/11.

“Today, it is important to once again come together to grieve, to honor and to unite around those we lost, those family members who lost loved ones, those brave first responders that put their lives in harm’s way and to remember and believe in America, our country founded on freedom, hope and a true belief in a better tomorrow,” Rames said as she closed her speech.

The Wayne State College Madrigals sang America the Beautiful. Dr. Eric Colvard also gave some 9/11 history, while Dr. Susan Ellis informed the audience about Cultural Clarity and how not only were Americans affected by 9/11, but really how people from different parts of the world were also affected. Whether it was people that were on the airplanes that struck the Twin Towers, or the people of different nationalities that were working in each of the buildings on that unforgettable day.

Then Quinneka Lee read a poem entitled Lists of “Don’t Forget” And “Remembers,” which was a poem written by a classroom of elementary students in New York one year after the events of 9/11. Next, Dr. Colvard and Dr. Ellis played a guitar duo of This Land is Your Land.

The program ended with closing comments made by Lisa Nelson reminding the audience that 9/11 brought us together. Then a full minute of silence happened afterwards, with the program ending with Hannah Dierking and Josh Fremstad playing Taps.

Quilts are displayed at the International Quilt Study Center & Museum in Lincoln, Neb. which people have made to commemorate the events that occurred on 9/11.
It is a good thing to remind oneself of where they were on 9/11 and what it meant. And to also remember how people came together to help one another out and that in a world of daily tragedies, we as a human race can come together to lend a helping hand.