Honoring Those Who Were Lost, But Not Forgotten

Elissa Sanci

The University of New Haven honored all the lives lost and families affected by the tragic terrorist attacks on the United States on the fourteenth anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001. The ceremony, conducted by USGA President James Kielar, was held in the Maxcy academic quad on Friday, Sept. 11 at 11 a.m.

Members of the UNH community came together to honor those who were lost on Sept. 11, 2001 (Photo by Samantha Reposa/Charger Bulletin photo)
Members of the UNH community came together to honor those who were lost on Sept. 11, 2001 (Photo by Samantha Reposa/Charger Bulletin photo)

The September 11 attacks, commonly referred to as 9/11, were a series of four terrorist attacks, coordinated by al-Qaeda, on the United States. The attacks targeted national landmarks—the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington D.C.—and resulted in the death of 2,977 innocent civilians, firefighters, EMS first responders and police officers.

Students, faculty, staff, esteemed guests and members of the UNH ROTC gathered in the quad as Isis Loyola sang the national anthem. All attendees were encouraged to sing along “to promote campus community and demote terrorism and all its empty promises,” said Kielar.

Guest speakers included Marty O’Connor, associate professor and campus minister; Dan May, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs; and representatives from the Veterans Club, the Fire Science Club, American Criminal Justice Association and the EMS Club.

O’Connor recounted the story of how the UNH campus came together fourteen years ago on the night of the attack; he said that in the early evening of that fateful Tuesday, students, faculty and staff alike found their way to the residential quad between Bixler and Botwinik. They all “went [to the quad] not for answers, but for solace and to know that [they] were not alone.”

He then said a quick prayer for all the lives lost and the families affected, concluding with a few words on remembrance. “We come together to do the most noble thing a human being can do: we remember,” he said.

“It’s hard to believe it was 14 years ago,” said May of the attacks. “It was a bookmark in the history of the nation—of the world.”

Jessica Meisinger-MacDonald, the president of the Fire Science Club, said a few words about the 343 firefighters who died during rescue efforts. “It takes a special kind of person to run in when everyone else runs out.”

“We are Americas and we are proud of what that stands for,” Caisey Calabro, ACJA president, added as she addressed the crowd.

The ceremony concluded as attendees placed American flags around the 9/11 memorial tree located on the hill above the Bartels Student Activities Center. The Fire Sceince Club performed a last alarm to honor the firefighters who were lost. The Last Alarm, which is performed through the ringing of a silver bell, is a fire service tradition to pay homage to the “brothers and sisters who have been lost,” said Kielar. “It signified that their duties have been completed and that they are returning to base.”