Ceremony to remember heroes of 9/11

Logan Raschke, Staff Reporter

A memorial ceremony Tuesday morning will commemorate heroes and others who died on 9/11.

Eastern’s New Student and Family Programs will host the 9/11 Memorial Ceremony at the north side of the library quad Tuesday at 10 a.m. 

Skylar Farris, senior Military Student Assistance Center Veterans Affairs Work Study and RSO for student veterans, said the ceremony is focused on remembering the people who lost their lives on 9/11 saving others.

“(The 9/11 Memorial Ceremony) is a day of remembrance,” he said. “There (are) so many people in the U.S. that pretty much gave their lives to help other people, and (we) want to recognize those people—whether they be police, firefighters, paramedics (or) ordinary people.”

The Army ROTC, University Police Department, Coles County Department of Veteran Affairs, and the Charleston BFW and Police Department are collaborating with the New Student and Family Programs for the memorial event, he said.

He said everyone is invited and encouraged to attend, including members of the Charleston community who are not directly a part of Eastern.

“We want people to remember what happened on this day (commemorating) it,” Farris said.

Beth Dunahee, assistant director of the new student and family programs, said the organizations collaborating with Eastern will put up about 200 small American flags around the library quad during the ceremony.

She said Blake Leitch will be speaking at the 9/11 memorial, and there will also be a wreath ceremony after the flags are put up.

Dunahee said it should only take about 45 minutes for all flags to get placed, but they will stay up for the entire day.

“Even if (students) miss the actual ceremony of putting the flags down, since they’ll be out all day, they can still go and pay their respects,” she said.

Farris said he was partly inspired by the Lakeland Veterans Program’s tradition of setting up flags for Veteran’s Day when he orchestrated the 9/11 Memorial Ceremony.

“I kind of want to do the same thing for Veteran’s Day later this year,” he said. “Being at a different location doing different things and then coming (to Eastern) and not having it done, I wanted to be the person who kind of spearheads it and keeps it going.”

Farris said one thing he has learned from planning the 9/11 Memorial Ceremony is how important it is to remember the people in uniform who died saving the lives of others on 9/11. 

“In this community, there are so many veterans that are willing to help,” he said. “We don’t want to forget (them) … and we don’t want to take life for granted.”

Logan Raschke can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].