Sep 11, 2020
College of the Ozarks holds 9/11 Memorial Ceremony today, Sept. 11, 2020
POINT LOOKOUT, MO. — College of the Ozarks held a special ceremony today to commemorate the lives of those who perished in the terrorist attacks that occurred on Sept. 11, 2001.
Because of COVID-19 guidelines, this year’s event was not open for the general public. A limited number of students participated in the event.
President Jerry C. Davis gave opening remarks and introduced Ted Martin, fire chief and management director for the City of Branson Fire and Rescue Department, who delivered the main address for the ceremony.
Martin described the events of 9.11.01 and recounted the number of innocent lives lost and of those injured. He reminded those gathered of the importance of such a ceremony, as many of the students in attendance, some 19 years old and younger, were not alive during the tragic events of 9.11.01.
“This is our history of September 11,” Martin said. “But what about September 12 and beyond? On this day, we saw our nation begin to unite. Thousands of rescue workers worked diligently at Ground Zero, but also at the Pentagon and the crash site of Flight 93. Americans lined up to donate blood. … The military witnessed a huge increase in citizens volunteering for service with a passion to serve and protect this great nation. Even Congress stood in unity on the Capital steps and sang ‘God bless America.’ The country and its elected representatives were coming together as we had not come together since World War II.”
Martin’s presentation included a renewed call for unity.
“We must never forget 9.11 and its lasting heartaches, and we must remember forever the goodness it brought out in thousands of Americans in the days and weeks following the attacks. We must rekindle Unity and know that we are Americans, blessed by our Awesome God who gives us purpose and guidance to display love for each other.”
Events of the day
Nathan Bailey, senior fire science major, rang the symbolic volley of the bell on the fire engine, broadcasted across campus for all to hear. Campus activities ceased for a moment of silence to remember the lives lost. Faculty and work supervisors took a few moments to acknowledge the solemn moment and shared with students about the fateful events of that day in American history.
The College encouraged students and employees to take red carnations located outside of residence halls and administrative buildings and place them at the base of the “Lest We Forget” 9/11 Memorial, located next to the Point Lookout Fire Department, throughout the day. By the end of day, each red carnation placed in memory represented each man, woman, and child who perished during the terrorist attacks.
“We knew that we would not allow a virus to keep us from honoring the dead and the heroes of that day, and the many who have died since,” said Dr. Marci Linson, vice president for patriotic activities and dean of admissions. “Unity isn’t always a time where groups gather in one place at one time for an event: Unity is in our hearts and minds. I believe we can honor those who served by remembering to put others before ourselves.”
Lest We Forget
On September 11, 2015, the College dedicated the “Lest We Forget” 9/11 Memorial.
This memorial includes one of the last remaining remnants of the World Trade Center structure. This piece of steel was donated to the College by Tommy McHale, a retired police officer, who wanted to honor the 37 fallen men and women officers from the Port Authority for New York and New Jersey who perished on 9.11.
The structure is referred to as “St. Michael’s 37.” St. Michael is considered the patron saint of police officers and represents strength to face the threat of evil and imminent danger.
College of the Ozarks recognizes the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, as a national tragedy wherein nearly 3,000 innocent lives were taken. The College honors those fallen heroes each year on September 11, so that they are not forgotten. The College thanks those who carefully assembled the memorial and those who paused to remember the sacrifices made.