Classic Signals: A year after Sept. 11

By Jessica Ganga
Features Editor

Harris writes about the campus gathering for 9/11 remembrance. (Jessica Ganga / Features Editor)
Harris writes about the campus gathering for 9/11 remembrance. (Jessica Ganga / Features Editor)

This Friday, Sept. 11, marks the 14th anniversary of 9/11. It is a day full of remembrance and unity across the country, as well as on the College’s campus. A year after the attacks in New York City, Washington, D.C. and the plane crash in Pennsylvania, The Signal News Editor Amanda Harris reported on the campus’ reflection of that tragic day. Students came together to offer support for those who might have lost someone. It was a day that showed how close students at the College really are.

Students, faculty and staff gathered together last Wednesday on the lawn in front of Loser Hall to remember those who died in the attacks on the World Trade Center, Pentagon and Flight 93 on Sept. 11, 2001.

The crowd was quiet as speakers promoted peace, patriotic songs were sung and the bells in Green Hall rang.

Chris Ludwig, senior English major, spoke at the ceremony.

His father was killed in the World Trade Center attack.

“What exactly do I, the family member of a 9/11 victim, have to offer anyone here today, who has come to remember or address the events of last year?” Ludwig asked. “What gives me the authority to speak before you, except my father was killed a year ago today? For surely his death alone would be enough.”

Ludwig said that he hoped that his story would offer insight into his own perspective, which in turn, would “open up part of the audience’s mind to ideas and emotions” it hasn’t experienced before.

President R. Barbara Gitenstein opened the Remembrance Ceremony, asking the crowd to remember three things.

“First, we must continue to reach out to those most personally affected by the attacks,” Gitenstein said.

She also asked the audience to embrace the values of America while rejecting violence.

She added, “Finally in order to embrace these values, we at The College of New Jersey are obligated to learn more about the world around us. It is not a question of diploma and job. It is a question of survival and morality.”

Gitenstein paused mid-speech at 8:46 a.m., as the bells in Green Hall rang.

The ringing coincided with the time the first plane hit the North Tower.

Sandra Roche, senior music education major, accompanied Susan Hickman, associate professor of music, on the piano as Hickman sang “God Bless America.”

This was followed by the crowd joining together to sing “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

“I think music if given to us for many reasons,” Hickman said. “But, this morning perhaps, (it was was given to us) to think about the fact that music can console us … music can lift our spirits.”