This past week the nation joined together in displays of patriotism marking the twelfth anniversary of the attacks on September 11, 2001.
Point Loma students and faculty members were reminded of the tragic day by a memorial on Caf Lane of flags, candles and posters presented by the university’s College Republican club.
Justin Vos, the club’s president, says the student body responded in very supportive ways. “People would walk up and pray. It was a good way for students to interact in a non-partisan way,” he says.
At the memorial a table was set up displaying the names of the people who lost their lives during the attacks, as well as “9/11 never forget” pins and pocket constitutions donated by the Young American Foundation.
Later that evening nearly 30 students gathered at the memorial for a vigil service as candles were lit and the nearly 3,000 names of 9/11 victims were read by Vos, along with the club’s vice president Emily Lehman.
“When I had to print the names of people who died it was 50 pages long,” Vos says. “You don’t think of it when you just hear the names, but when you see them printed out it overwhelms you.”
During the ceremony Vos gave a speech comparing the number of people who died on 9/11 to the number of students in Point Loma’s community.
“It’s like our whole campus being wiped out,” he says.
As the service continued, passersby would stop to listen.
“I didn’t know what to expect, or what the turnout would be,” says Lehman. “But I was really moved to see people stop to think about the day and remember it instead of just walking back to their dorm rooms.”
Those who gathered also shared memories and feelings they have regarding 9/11. Some shared of people they knew who had died in the Pentagon, while senior Rebecca Rossiter told of her boyfriend who joined the marine corps to serve in Afghanistan after the attacks.
Brandon West, a sophomore, shared that though he wasn’t directly affected, he still remembers the emotion. “I was affected by how I saw my mom react,” he says. “As a 6 or 7 year old kid I had never seen my mom that shocked and that speechless.”
West says he was glad that the College Republican club took the time to put on the event and recognize what had happened.
Although the years continue to pass since the 2001 attacks, we will never forget the impact it has had on our country. “One good thing I took away,” Vos says, “is the way America came together on that day. It restored my faith in humanity.”