By Eric Wise, Assistant News Editor —
Monday marked the 16th anniversary of the terrorist attacks that occurred on Sept. 11, 2001.
UTC held a flag planting ceremony outside of Patten Chapel in the Founders Hall courtyard. The event started with current service members lowering the flag to half staff while “Retreat” was played on the bugle.
Joe Wiram, coordinator of Veteran Student Services, asked that people in attendance reflect on the thousands of innocent lives lost that day and the negative effects it has had since then.
“Think not only about the first responders, police, fireman and other lives lost that day, but also the lives of our military in the middle east and the innocent lives of children and families living peacefully in Afghanistan and Iraq,” he said. “Let’s also think about what the terrorists did to us as Americans, [how] we began to doubt and fear our fellow Americans — our Muslim Americans. So, think about everyone that was affected negatively by the acts 16 years ago.”
Following his statements, the National Anthem was played and everyone in attendance planted small American Flags along the path of the walkway leading towards the flag pole. Hannah Turcotte, a former Moc and now Special Projects Coordinator in the Office of the Dean of Students, said she wanted to support Wiram and the student veterans on campus.
“I wanted to come out and support [Wiram], and really just support the university on this day,” Turcotte said.
Wiram ended the ceremony by asking those in attendance to think about how it’s important to remember this day every year, given that the current UTC student body were just between the ages of two and five when the attacks occurred.
“It won’t be long when our generation of students will have not been living during this time, and it will definitely be nothing to them but something in the history books,” he said. “This is why we do this, to remind us that hopefully something like this will never happen again.”