Members of the Ohio State community gathered Thursday to remember the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the tragedy’s 13th anniversary.
The OSU Reserve Officers’ Training Corps and members of the Columbus Division of Fire gathered outside the Ohio Union in the morning to honor the sacrifices of American servicemen and women, and to raise money in support of the Remembrance Rescue Project.
The ceremony, which included a 21-gun salute and the performance of two silent rifle drills, had a lot of personal meaning for Air Force ROTC Cadet Michael Falco.
“Growing up in New York City and knowing first responders that both survived and died in Sept. 11, 2001, it definitely has a personal attachment,” Falco, a fourth-year in mathematics said. “It’s the reason I joined Air Force ROTC and the military.”
The Remembrance Rescue Project is “an educational effort focused at society, especially youngsters who were too young to actually understand the events of September 11th and what that day means to members of the fire service and the country as a whole,” according to its website.
“The ROTC group contacted us,” Chris Gantz, firefighter and Remembrance Rescue Project Leader, said. “This is a group of students from OSU that want to make sure people remember.”
Thursday evening saw another memorial event that was hosted by the Security and Intelligence Club at the Browning Amphitheatre. Speakers included Jeffrey Sacksteder, a representative from the State of Ohio Department of Homeland Security, and OSU President Michael Drake.
“There are events in life that one remembers always, and there’s the refrain of where were you? When? You were all very young at the time, but I know you can remember where you were,” Drake said. “Those of my generation and those in between remember where they were also … For the lives of those people who have changed, it’s important to have this commemoration.”
Attendees ended the gathering by joining in a moment of silence before singing the OSU alma mater, “Carmen Ohio.”
Kevin Maas, a first-year student, said the event gave those who attended a proper chance to commemorate the anniversary together.
“I’m glad they have this event on campus. It gives students a chance to get together and remember as a group,” Maas said. “That gives it more of a sense of unity, which I think is important compared to being alone and remembering, because of what our nation stands for.”