UD community remembers 9/11 on 20th anniversary

The Student Government Association and ROTC placed American flags in the KU Central Mall Friday morning, one for each life lost during the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. Photo courtesy of Grace Dipierro.

Grace Dipierro | Staff Writer

The University of Dayton commemorated the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks Friday morning with a memorial service and a flag placing. 

To honor the lives taken on 9/11, the Student Government Association (SGA) and ROTC placed 2,977 flags in KU Central Mall to represent each person that was lost that day. 

President Spina next to KU Central Mall Friday morning. Courtesy of Dipierro.

In a video address and email to the UD community, Spina remembered several alumni who were killed in the 9/11 attacks. There is a plaque on campus to immortalize the memory of their lives. 

Various campus organizations also held a memorial service Friday morning on KU Central Mall. Among those present were UD President Dr. Eric Spina, SGA President Drew Moyer and Vice President Hannah Hoby, representatives from UD Public Safety, UD’s department of military sciences, UD Military and Veteran Programs and Services and UD Campus Ministry. 

Representatives from these campus areas shared a few words reflecting on their 9/11 experiences and what the day means to them. They spoke to an audience full of ROTC members, EMS volunteers and various campus faculty, staff and students. 

In his address, Spina mentioned the name of an art piece honoring 9/11 created by Spencer Finch. This work of art resides in the 9/11 Museum. Finch recreated what the skies looked like on 9/11 using dozens of different shades of blue. Every square represents one life taken that day. 

A quote, whose lettering was made using steel from the actual World Trade Center site, sits in the middle of the piece is from the Roman poet, Virgil. 

“No day shall erase you from the memory of time,” it read.

Spina said the quote reminds him of the lives lived by those who were taken that day.

SGA President Drew Moyer at the memorial service Friday. Courtesy of Dipierro.

 “Pentagon soldiers and civilians, World Trade Center workers, people commuting on an airplane, heroic first responders and those who have sacrificed since that time,” Spina said. “Their bravery, sacrifice, selflessness, but even more importantly, the details of their lives and the impact they had while alive, in their death and in some cases in their selfless sacrifice.” 

In Moyer’s address, he spoke of the resilience of the American people. 

“In a time that seems to have no end, or when we have feelings of vulnerability, we as a country become strong,”  Moyer said. “We push through and come out a more unified community.” 

Moyer recognized the sacrifices of UD’s own first responders, police officers, volunteers and other individuals who continually work to make the University safe. 

“They exemplify UD’s core value of the common good, serving as a reminder of all that was lost on 9/11, but also all that we have left to hope for,” Moyer said. 

As time goes on, it seems that the events of 9/11 become more of a part of history than a lived reality for so many people, including many current undergraduate students at UD who were born after 2001.

Despite the fact that 2001 was now 20 years ago, the victims and heroes of 9/11 are still remembered as if it were yesterday. To echo Virgil’s sentiments, no amount of time that passes will make our country forget the tragedy, sacrifice and loss that surrounds the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

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