By Erin Hannon
Last friday marked the 14th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks. In order to commemorate this anniversary, Roanoke College held a memorial service at noon on Friday.
The service began on the Back Quad in front of the lowered flags. Small American flags had been arranged to say “9-11, Never Forget.” Reverend Chris Bowen led the ceremony and gave a sermon reminding students that while it is okay to move on from this tragic experience, we should still remember the events that took place in 2001. During this tribute, candles were lit to honor the civilians and emergency workers who lost their lives both in the towers, the Pentagon, and the four planes.
On September 11, 2001, two passenger planes struck the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers, while another plane hit the Pentagon, and a fourth plane, that was aimed at Washington D.C., was brought down in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Many who were old enough to remember the events of that day can still say, with perfect clarity, exactly where they were and what they were doing when they first heard the news. This tragedy, and the events that followed, had a lasting impact on American society and the world as a whole.
The service on campus gathered around the 9/11 memorial tree in front of the Colket Center. The tree is dedicated to the victims of 9/11 and the families that they left behind. It is specifically in honor of Stephen “Jet” Lamantia. Lamantia was a Roanoke College alumnus from the Class of 1985 who was on one of the planes that struck the Twin Towers. Rev. Bowen shared more information about the life of Lamantia and those assembled shared a moment of silence for Lamantia and all those that died.
To conclude the memorial, the bell in the RC bell tower was rung three times as a tribute to all those that lost their lives.
In addition to the service at Roanoke, many of the local churches held special services in honor of those affected by the events fourteen years ago. The city of Salem also held a special service in front of the Salem Fire Station where a new monument had been raised to further memorialize the day that this horrible tragedy occurred. The monument is a flagpole constructed of beams from the World Trade Center’s North Tower.