By Courtney Westlake
Tuesday’s cool and calm night provided a serene backdrop for UIS students to pay tribute to the thousands of men, women and children who lost their lives six years ago during the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a plane crash in Shanksville, Pa.
At a 9/11 Remembrance Event on Tuesday evening, small, tea light candles were available for students, staff and passerby to light in memory of those who were affected by the tragedy. The candles were placed around the Colonnade and fountain, lighting up the Quad area and providing a peaceful atmosphere for people to reflect and pray.
The remembrance event, which occurs on each anniversary of the attacks, was sponsored by the resident assistants of the townhouses.
“We decided that something needed to be done; something needs to be done every year to commemorate and remember 9/11 and what happened,” said Heidi Fisher, an RA for the west side townhouses. “It’s something that really shouldn’t be forgotten. We need to have an active effort to remember it.”
Seniors Laura Strum and Kathleen Knolhoff spent some time reflecting by the fountain and sharing their thoughts with each other. Strum said she has family members who live in New York, and the events of the day were very personal for her.
“It was the experience that we heard about from them that really touched me,” she said. “It means a lot to come out and honor them and everyone that died that day.”
“I came out for support and remembering that very tragic day,” Knolhoff added. “It was just an eye opener.”
Blank poster boards were also provided to attendees who wished to express their thoughts in the form of a poem, picture or, for some, a simple phrase or quote.
“This is still a major event in the life of our students here at UIS,” said Loni Oehlwein, Resident Director for West Campus Apartments. “The event was just something calm and interactive for students to stop by for.”