UNH Community Remembers Victims of 9/11

by Jackie Hennessey
Communications and Public Affairs Writer/Editor

The UNH community gathered under the bright sunshine on Sept. 11 to commemorate the 12th anniversary of the attacks, to pay solemn tribute to two alumni who died in the World Trade Center and to recognize the heroes who rushed toward danger to help.

Daniel J. May, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, said that while Sept. 11, 2011, marks a very dark day in U.S. history, “It also reminded us of our indomitable spirit and our resolve to help one another in times of greatest need.

The UNH community remembered the victims of 9/11 during a campus ceremony.

“Dozens of UNH graduates were heroes that day: New York City firefighters, police officers, EMTs and other first responders,” May said. “Their legacy endures in a new generation of UNH students who are preparing for careers in public safety. We are proud of that fact that we are one of the top schools in the nation whose graduates save lives. Tomorrow’s heroes are among us here today on this campus.”

May recognized alumni Evan Gillette `90 MBA and Seth Morris `86, both of whom worked in the Twin Towers and perished in the attacks.

Students, faculty and staff filled the Maxcy Quad as the ROTC Color Guard presented the flag. Jessica Bartolotta ’14 delivered a stirring rendition of the National Anthem, and Justin Farrar ‘16 of the Military Veterans of UNH urged the crowd to never forget the victims and to cherish the freedoms they have. Elizabeth Schew ’15 of the Fire Science Club read the Fireman’s Prayer to honor all of the first responders who lost their lives that day. 

USGA president Zani Imetovski ’14 said the true test of any nation is “how we rally together, despite adversity and despite situations that challenge us.

“Now, 12 years later, America has pressed forward, but has never forgotten,” he said. “Where the towers once stood is a beautiful memorial, and beside it stands a new tower, which reaches into the heavens and serves as a monument to our resilience.”  

Martin J. O’Connor, associate professor of fire science and University chaplain, said gathering together was just what the campus community did on that day 12 years earlier. “Somehow, some way, UNH students, staff and faculty found their way to our humble little residential quad, just as the bright sun of a gruesome day was fading, giving way to dusk and a very uncertain future,” he said. “When we got together that evening we really weren’t looking for answers but only for solace of knowing that we were not alone.”

The Color Guard, President Steve Kaplan, May, student leaders and the UNH Army ROTC led the hushed crowd to the 9/11 memorial tree that O’Connor said “stands as a silent witness to our enduring sadness and our steady resolve to build a better and a safer world.” 

Together, the UNH community observed a moment of silence and many left small American flags in the ground around the tree.

Check out photos from the 9/11 ceremony

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Last Updated ( Monday, 16 September 2013 12:24 )