Students came together last Tuesday to remember those who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001.
The Honors Student Organization (HSO) held three events on Sept. 11 to educate students on the events that occurred in Shanksville, PA, as well as to honor those who lost their lives. HSO has held different events regarding Sept. 11 for the past
Kristen Grom, the graduate assistant to the honors program, said that HSO almost cancelled the events for 9/11 this year due to weather conditions; however, Grom took charge and continued with the days’ planned events including a candlelit vigil.
“I personally have a great respect, as I think most people do, for the men and women who serve our country and the veterans,” Grom said. “I didn’t want rain to put a damper on things and I didn’t want the day to go without being remembered.”
Tom McMillan, journalist and author, came to talk to students about his book “Flight 93: The Story, the Aftermath, and the Legacy of American Courage on 9/11.” McMillan spoke about how he talked with families who had family members on Flight 93 that crashed into farmland near Shanksville, PA.
Students were also invited to attend a screening of the movie “United Flight 93” which tracks the events that occured on board Flight 93.
Jake Bartosh, freshman theatre arts performance and practices major, was inspired by McMillan’s talk and attended the movie screening.
“The movie hit me right in the heart,” Bartosh said. “I really was shocked, and obviously it may not be completely accurate but still the interpretation of the event and portrayal of the terrorists I thought, was phenomenal. It made me stop and I knew what was going to happen, it was like watching the Titanic, you know what’s going to happen but still every moment that came next you were shocked by it, you were moved by it.”
Bartosh said that in high school, a teacher of his always spoke about the events on Sept. 11, and hearing about it every year made Bartosh feel the need to attend the events held by HSO.
“I heard about it every year and it just kind of stuck with me, so I felt it was important to go to an event here for it,”Bartosh said. “I got the same feeling of how it changed so many people’s lives and there hasn’t been an event like that in the past 17 years.”
Bartosh said he feels that his generation only knows and cares about the aftermath that came from the events of 9/11. He believes that knowing and understanding why the events happened is an important part of the American history.
Grom recalled the events of 9/11 and addressed the importance of the younger generation participating in the different events offered by HSO.
“We remember that day but it also gave the students, some of them were younger, they were only one year old whenever this happened so it gave them more of a positioning on the events and understanding what happened and put things into perspective,” Grom said. “It put the event into perspective.”
Bartosh sang the National Anthem at the vigil later that night. He was moved by not only the students who showed up to the vigil, but by the students who stood for the anthem that were not directly involved with the vigil.
Bartosh felt a sense of pride and remembrance when they stood.
“I really appreciate that they took the thought out of their conversation and were like ‘Wait a minute, we’re not involved with this thing but we’re here, we might as well show our respect,’” Bartosh said.
Grom mirrored Bartosh’s admiration for the students and bystanders who took part in the vigil. She appreciates the involvement in the community and everyone that came out to participate.
“9/11 in itself is a day of remembrance and there’s a lot of things that mean something to people,” Grom said. “But the fact that people who weren’t part of the vigil initially started to participate, I thought that was the shining moment of the day.”
Students took a trip on Sept. 15 to the Flight 93 Memorial in Shanksville, PA. Grom did not attend the event, but said that students who attended were moved by what they saw.
“I think you don’t always realize the impact something has until you’re standing there at a memorial or looking at it in a movie form and you know those things make you think, wow,” Grom said. “I know that’s just a funny way to say it but ‘Wow.’”