(U-WIRE) WASHINGTON – Saturday, Sept. 11, 2004, marked the third year anniversary of the terrorist attacks on New York, Washington, D.C, and Pennsylvania, prompting colleges around the nation to hold memorial events to honor the lives of the victims.
The George Washington University observed a moment of silence on Saturday, at 8:46 a.m. to remember the victims of 9/11 and honor the nine George Washington University alumni who died in the attacks.
The Foundation for The Defense of Democracies coordinated this memorial event with help from the student association. The event included a candlelight vigil and comments by University President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg.
Omar Woodward, student association president at the George Washington University said, “The memorial service went off pretty very well. We had a nice turn out. It was a day of sadness and mourning but we all came together as a community to remember those we lost.”
Angela Lowe, a sophomore at the George Washington University shares a different opinion on the university memorials.
“I am from New York and I was very disappointed by the university arrangements. The speakers were set up very poorly,” she said. “I know the school has so much money to be low budget about something like this. Guster and Jason Mraz could get the whole gym however student’s who are remembering all of the loved ones that were lost get the university yard and can hear the sounds of chirping birds rather than important the speakers who are speak about the liberty of America and the people who have suffered.”
In the years since the terrorist attacks, people have tried to accept and cope up with what happened and have displayed their grief in many ways. From holding art exhibits to writing letters to those directly affected by the tragic events to building memorials to fundraising campaigns, citizens, are now healing and at the same time learning what it means to be an American.
Schools in New York expressed their grief in several ways. Columbia University held an art exhibit called, “In the Aftermath of 9/11: A Third Anniversary Exhibit” from June 30 through Sept. 24. It was an all day event that took place the university’s medical center.
Rutgers University organized a memorial service and requested the residents to be present with flash lights, candles and a chair. On the other hand, Cornell University organized a memorial event at the university’s Sage Chapel and Anabel Taylor Hall. A visual set up was arranged with photographs, flowers and black drapes from Friday morning until Mon.
Carolyn Taber, Facility Coordinator at the university said, “We had this visual set up so that people could come and go as they please and at the same time do whatever they are comfortable doing, in their own way.”
The University of Pennsylvania decided to take a back seat this year and did not have any memorial services.
The university Chaplain, William Gipson said, “The university did not have any services this past weekend. We had one the first year, in 2001, which was very expansive. We made a decision that if people want to honor and remember their loved ones, they will do so in a personal way.”
It was the same with Pennsylvania State University. They had no memorial services but they showed their mark of respect on the football field.
“There was nothing large scale or university-wide. Our football team went to Boston College and we observed a moment of silence at the field. But we didn’t really plan any memorials,” said University spokesman Tysen Kendig.
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