Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Student organizations honor the victims of 9/11

CW / Natalie Teat

Twenty-two years later, UA students are taking steps to remember the victims of the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. 

On Monday, members of the Young Americans for Freedom, the Army ROTC and Circle K each honored the fallen.  

 YAF’s Never Forget Project 

As part of YAF’s annual 9/11 Never Forget Project memorial, YAF and the Army ROTC together planted 2,977 flags on the Mound early Monday morning. Each flag represented one lost life.  

YAF President Christian Calvert, a senior majoring in political science, said it has been almost two decades since YAF started the Never Forget Project. 

“It’s important that we do this memorial every year, because 9/11 was one of the worst terror attacks in our country’s history. We lost a lot of American citizens that day that were completely innocent,” Calvert said. “It was an attack on our freedoms and an attack on us as a people.” 

YAF member Reagan Waggoner, a senior majoring in economics and math, agreed with Calvert, adding that the Never Forget Project serves also to “commemorate the American spirit we all stand behind.”  

While there is a monument and museum on the former site of the twin towers, and YAF Vice President Rebecca Allen said she had the “honor” to visit it, Allen acknowledged that not all people have the “privilege” to visit it. 

“A lot of us were born after 9/11,” Allen said. “Not many know exactly about it. So to bring something, like a physical display, like with the flags we do every year, is a great thing.” 

For some, the day has even more significance.  

Sean Sullivan is a senior news media major and member of the Army ROTC who is from New York City.  

Sullivan said that on the day of the attacks, his father, who was a lieutenant in the Army Reserves, was in the north tower. Sullivan’s father had found out the day before that he and his wife were having twins, namely Sullivan and his brother; he was discussing this with his boss when the first plane struck the north tower. 

Using his Army training, Sullivan’s father advised people to evacuate the building when official guidance said otherwise, Sullivan said. 

“When he was still in the building, the second plane hit the [south] tower,” Sullivan said. “On his way down, he helped out a couple of people who were in wheelchairs or were injured from the blast of the initial plane.”  

Sullivan said that although his father exited the building 15 minutes before it collapsed, his family initially presumed him dead. They only learned that he was safe after Sullivan’s uncle found Sullivan’s father walking along the Brooklyn Bridge. 

Sullivan said that his father eventually received a soldier’s medal for his actions that day. 

“We were invited … pretty much every year to different ceremonies and particularly the 10-year anniversary at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. So since a very young age it’s been a pretty big, heavy day,” Sullivan said. 

 Circle K’s flag memorial 

In memory of those who lost their lives, Circle K, a student-led service and leadership organization, placed a series of flags in the shape of an American flag on the Crimson Promenade next to the Student Center. Each flag contained the name of someone who died during the attacks. 

The flags were placed on the evening of Sept. 10, with plans to remove them on the following evening. 

Circle K’s memorial is an annual event that has been held for over a decade. 

“We want to remind everybody of what happened and bring everybody together,” said Victoria Thompson, president of UA Circle K. 

Thompson said the event is a way of serving the community and country by remembering the lives that were lost. 

“We plan to keep doing it as long as our club is here,” Thompson said. 

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