TIFTON-Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College’s Student Government Association hosted a remembrance ceremony for the 22nd anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The event was held at the college’s Chapel of All Faiths.
Emily Rowland, SGA senator representing the School of Arts and Sciences, said it was important to continue to have events like this so the post-9/11 generation can remember the events of that day and the people who were impacted.
“Without events like this, it’s just words in a textbook,” she said. “Events like this make a connection.”
On the day of the attacks, ABAC President Tracy Brundage was living in Pennsylvania, where Flight 97 crashed after passengers fought back against the hijackers and forced the plane down in a field instead of allowing it to be flown into a building.
“I’m proud that today’s events were organized by SGA, a group of young leaders who will go on to do great things,” she said. “For those who lived through this, these moments take us back to those flashpoints in our memories.”
Brundage spoke about ABAC’s veterans’ assistance programs and said that ABAC honors those who served and continue to serve not only on days of remembrance but throughout the year.
“We are grateful for what they did, and we continue to grieve,” she said. “We will forever remember those we lost, those they left behind, and those heroes who worked to save their fellow citizens.”
The featured speaker, Lester Smith with American Legion Post 515, also spoke about the importance of remembering the nation’s heroes.
Smith played videos that showed footage from September 11, 2001 and played audio from air traffic controllers, from first responder radio traffic, and from those making phone calls to loved ones.
“As a result of the attacks to the towers, a total of 2,763 people died, including 2,192 civilians, 343 firefighters, and 71 law enforcement officers, as well as all the passengers and crew on the airplanes,” Smith said. “Most of those who perished were civilians, including 55 military personnel who died at the Pentagon. These attacks were the deadliest terrorist acts in world history, and the most devastating attacks on United States soil since the attack on Pearl Harbor. Additional people have died of 9/11 related cancers and respiratory diseases.”
He said that 9/11 remembrance events keep alive the memory of those who we lost and helps ensure something similar doesn’t happen again.
“It’s important we remember those who are not here, that we honor those who continue to fight, and that we teach,” he said. “If we don’t teach, we’re going to lose the battle against the war on terror and we must ensure this never happens again.”