UNI remembers 9/11

UNI Students remember 9/11
People gather for the flag planting ceremony at Lawther Field on the UNI Campus. More than 3,000 flags were planted in honor of those who lost their life during the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Approximately 2,977 people lost their life during the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. A decade later, the world came together to remember the people who will forever be heroes.

As part of the "Reaching for Higher Ground: Community after 9/11" events, faculty, staff, students and community members gathered at Lawther Field on the University of Northern Iowa campus on Sunday to plant a flag to commemorate the collapse of the World Trade Center Towers and the crashes at the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania.  More than 3,000 American and international flags to represent those with dual citizenship covered the field in tribute to a nation that will never lose its courage or patriotism. Moments of silence, signaled by the playing of Taps, occurred at 8:37 a.m., 8:59 a.m., 9:03 a.m. and 9:28 a.m.

"Looking at the field, it's so peaceful," said UNI sophomore Julia Klinefelter. "It really makes you think about what happened 10 years ago."

Many of the attendees took time to remember where they were a decade ago, and why commemorating the Sept. 11 events are so important.

"I was in fourth grade in 2001 and actually found out about the attacks on the school bus from one of my friends," said UNI sophomore Dustin Woody. "When I got home, my family turned on the television and watched everything unfold.  My dad started crying, it was the first time I've ever seen him that way."

"I think that it's really important that students know and are really aware of the circumstances around and behind the Sept. 11 attacks," said UNI senior Rhonda Greenway. "For the students who are now freshman, which were in second or third grade at the time of the attacks, it's important that they know what happened and what we've achieved since then."

Throughout the day a steady stream of people made their way to Lawther Field with flag in hand. At 3 p.m., the final flag was staked into the ground, the last flag to commemorate nearly 3,000 lives lost, but not forgotten.

The flag planting ceremony was just the beginning of UNI events planned to remember Sept. 11. The Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center presented "Remembrance: 9/11 Ten Years Later" Sunday night featuring a special collaboration between the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony, Metropolitan Chorale, Red Cedar Chamber Music and Theatre UNI. Other "Reaching for Higher Ground: Community after 9/11" events are scheduled for the rest of this week.

For more information and a schedule of "Community after 9/11" events, visit www.uni.edu/higherground.