GCU News Bureau
Some Grand Canyon University freshmen weren’t even born when the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, forever changed the country.
It’s part of the reason why at least two groups on campus are making sure that important date is not forgotten.
GCU’s Army ROTC has made it a tradition to memorialize the event by planting American flags and did so again this year on the Quad, where the lawn is dotted with about 3,000 flags spelling out “USA.”
Almost 3,000 people were killed that Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001.
GCU’s Young Americans for Freedom club wanted to honor those who died on that day with its own memorial, similarly placing about 3,000 flags on the lawn between the Student Life Building and Media Arts Center.
The “9/11: Never Forget Project” is part of a national initiative on college campuses across the country, in collaboration with Young America’s Foundation.
“We just want to make sure that people still remember 9/11,” Young Americans for Freedom club secretary Conner Teich said.
The Honors College senior, a double major in business information systems and business management, was 4 years old when the attack occurred.
“We want to commemorate all those people, (including) first responders,” he said. “It’s just so people don’t forget about that tragic day. It took such a big toll on America itself; we just don’t want people to forget that.”
Since 2003, more than 10.4 million American flags have been placed in the ground as part of the project, according to Young America’s Foundation.
Americans marked the 9/11 anniversary with numerous events, including thousands of 9/11 victims’ relatives, survivors, rescuers and more uniting at the memorial plaza where the World Trade Center twin towers once stood.
Other high-profile memorials were the presidential tributes at the Pentagon and at the Shanksville, Pa., field where Flight 93 crashed. The new Flight 93 National Memorial at Shanksville was dedicated Sunday and includes a 93-foot-tall Tower of Voices that will include 40 wind chimes to represent each passenger and crew member who died.
In Phoenix, the day was memorialized at City Hall, where officials spoke and Phoenix Police and Fire honor guards performed.