Ten years later, our flags are still waving

By: Molly Gase

This past weekend marked the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks against the United States that occurred Sept. 11, 2001.

The attacks illuminated the morning with something so dark and sinister that the reverberations of it are still being heard today. Current UA students were, for the most part, in middle school at the time of the attacks. Some had never experienced terror before watching the television that September morning.

“Sept. 11 was a major event in my childhood because it was the first time that I remember bring exposed to death and injustice,” senior Andrea Mazzocco said. “I could not wrap my mind around the idea that something terrible had happened to so many innocent people.”

On Friday, students gathered on the lawn outside of Buchtel Hall to place flags in memory of those who lost their lives that day a decade ago. This event was hosted by the office of Student Affairs. Vice President for Student Engagement and Success and Chief Student Affairs Officer Charles Fey had a great emotional connection to the event.

“I had been working at UMBC in Baltimore, Maryland on September 11, 2001,” Fey said. “We had friends and loved ones who had worked at the Pentagon and at the World Trade Centers among our faculty, staff and students. We decided that we would place one flag on our lawn in front of our administration building for every lost life on that tragic day.”

When the planning began for a 10th anniversary memorial at The University of Akron, Fey said, “I thought about those flags and felt that such a display on our campus would be a great symbol of our memory and respect for those who lost their lives on that fateful day.”

The flags themselves were placed within the grassy circle of lawn across from Buchtel Hall, attracting the eyes and cameras of many students as they passed by throughout the day.

One major effect of that horrible day in America’s history was the sense of national pride that sounded throughout the country. Flags were hung high and citizens claimed themselves Americans. Being an American was not something to scoff at, but instead a point of pride. The strength of many Americans was tested on Sept. 11, like the many firefighters, policemen and first responders who now hold the name of hero. The memorial at The University of Akron expressed the feelings of many on this topic as well.

“We are very proud of those men and women and we wanted to do something that would reflect both our thankfulness to them as well as our patriotic belief in our country,” Fey said.

Remembrance ceremonies like the placement of flags help remind us all that those who were lost that day will not be forgotten.