More than 50 people fought the heat to remember the victims of 9/11 last Wednesday morning.
Students, staff and members of the administration gathered in the academic quad on Wednesday around 10 a.m. to attend the memorial, hosted by Shippensburg University ROTC and Veteran Students of America.
ROTC cadet and SU junior Spencer Carroll spoke at the memorial and acknowledged this year’s freshman class as the last to have been alive during the attacks.
“With that in mind, this ceremony will become more and more important as the years go on,” Carroll said.
His speech also emphasized the bravery of the passengers on Flight 93.
The plane was hijacked and poised to strike the White House, but passengers onboard fought back, crashing the plane in a Shanksville, Pennsylvania, field only two hours west of Shippensburg. No one aboard the flight survived the crash.
Small American flags, placed by members of ROTC, filled the academic quad in the days preceding the memorial.
SU military science professor Lt. Col. Chris Morton said the 40 flags in the academic quad were placed in the shape of a 93; each one representing a passenger onboard.
“Flight 93 is a connection to PA,” he said, relating this closer to home.
Morton praised the passengers’ actions.
“The members of Flight 93 kind of knew what was happening and had the courage to do something. They were the first ones to fight back — and arguably won,” Morton said.
Carroll went on to read the names of each passenger and crew member aboard Flight 93. He also named Pfc. Nathan Datample, a former Shippensburg student, who died in Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2005. The ceremony closed with a moment of silence, after which a recording of the military song taps played.
Morton advocated the importance of this event for years to come as younger generations continue to pass through SU.
“All of the US today, and all generations, should remember Sept. 12, not Sept. 11, because we came together as a country, and despite the attacks, we were stronger the next day,” Morton said.