University observes 9/11

Several events will be held on campus today to remember the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

The events, including this evening’s ceremony “9-11 Never Forget” is sponsored by the BGSU College Republicans and the Young America’s Foundation.

The ceremony will start with a speech by Earl Johnson, who escaped the 51st floor of the World Trade Center after it was hit by a hijacked plane. Johnson will speak at 9:25 p.m. in the Lenhart Grand Ballroom in the Union. A slide presentation will follow at 10 p.m. outside near the Union Oval, followed by a candlelight vigil, a memorial prayer, music by the BGSU Men’s Chorus, a presentation of arms, a moment of silence and the playing of taps.

Earlier in the day there will be a campus-wide moment of silence at 9:11 a.m. Around 3,000 flags will be placed around the Union representing the victims of the attack and there will be showings of the film “United 93” in the Union Theater at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Dan Lipian, the chair of the College Republicans, helped organize the events, including the 9-11 Never Forget evening ceremony, and said he hopes many students and faculty will come to remember the victims of that day.

“Really, this is just about bringing the BGSU community together,” Lipian said.

College campuses across the country are holding similar events.

Patrick Coyle, vice president of the America’s Foundation, which is a national conservative organization, said the university is one of more than 150 universities participating in their program.

Coyle said the program has been around for several years and has developed its own momentum. But he said a majority of the events have been organized by mostly conservative clubs on college campuses, though the organization will work with anyone who wants to be involved. Coyle also said they have contacted conservative 9-11 survivors to speak at the events.

But Lipian said no matter what a person’s political or religious affiliation or otherwise, it really isn’t important to this time of remembrance.

“We’re all Americans. We should all be together on this,” Lipian said.

Mark Ingles, president of the College Democrats said though they were not involved in planning the event, they are still in support of its purpose. Ingles said the College Democrats will not move their meeting time to accommodate the events. But he said the group did donate money to sponsor a flag and will have a moment of silence during the meeting to remember the victims of 9-11.

“We hope their event goes well,” Ingles said. “It’s a good thing to have on campus.”

Ingles said he thinks it is important to commemorate the events every year, but believes we need to focus on other issues too.

“The fact that we’re having a regular meeting doesn’t mean we’re ignoring the event, we’re not, we’re just trying to focus on the future,” he said.