9/11 remembered on campus

Although more than a decade has passed since the 9/11 attacks, Milwaukee is doing its part today to commemorate the eleventh anniversary of the tragedy.

Milwaukee County hosted a ceremony at the War Memorial Center – Fitch Plaza this morning from 7:30 to 8:15 a.m. that featured several speakers, including Gov. Scott Walker, Mayor Tom Barrett, Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele and a representative from the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek. To honor the nearly 3,000 victims of the 9/11 attacks, wreaths were placed in a reflecting pool, and participants rang a bell from the USS Milwaukee.

On campus, two Marquette groups will offer opportunities for students to reflect.

Marquette’s ROTC program will continue its tradition of holding the annual Tri-Service 9-11 Commemoration Ceremony, which will honor the day with three branches of Marquette’s ROTC:  Air Force, Army and Navy.

Cadet Jacob Berg, a senior in the College of Communication, was appointed by the previous senior class to the Tri-ROTC liaison position, which includes commissioning the 9/11 Commemoration Ceremony between the separate branches.

“I think it’s important to remember those who have fallen in the past and especially on 9/11— it’s a very patriotic day that we need to remember,” Berg said.

The ceremony will be held outside of Raynor Library in the quad area at 3:30 p.m. today. Speakers from the Department of Public Safety and a fire chief from the Milwaukee area will be present. ROTC cadets will lower the American flag to half-mast.

“Everyone is welcome to come,” Berg said. “It’s going to be very public, so people can stop and listen to what the speakers have to say, and I encourage it. It’s great to have support and see people pay tribute.”

A second commemoration will be held by Marquette’s Young Americans for Freedom, a nonpartisan group promoting conservative values. Last year, the group began a visually striking ritual of paying homage to those who lost their lives in the events of 9/11 through the Young America’s Foundation’s 9/11: Never Forget Project, which provides 2,977 mini-American flags for planting on campus lawns, along with other promotional materials.

The initiative began in 2003 when the Young America’s Foundation discovered that some college campuses either ignored the anniversary or held a nondescript event.

“We feel it’s really important to remember those who died in the terrorist attacks,” Joshua Drevs, a junior in the College of Business Administration and member of the Young Americans for Freedom, said. “They were just going to work. It’s very rare that Americans get hit at home. We need to remember the sacrifice they made that they didn’t know they were about to make and those who did all they could to save them – policemen, firefighters from all over.”

About ten volunteers from the Young Americans for Freedom planted the flags on the hill outside of the Alumni Memorial Union at 7:30 a.m. today.