YEAR IN REVIEW #11: CMU, Mount Pleasant acknowledge 9/11 anniversary

Central Michigan University students and Mount Pleasant residents came together in various ways for the tenth anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001.

Sacred Heart Academy commemorated the anniversary on the morning of Sept. 9 by hosting several speakers including Kevin Cotter, R-Mount Pleasant, and members of the Mount Pleasant police and fire departments.

Following the speakers, elementary students recited the Pledge of Allegiance, a poem about peace and sang “Let There Be Peace on Earth,” with acoustic accompaniment from a teacher.

Students, alumni and staff members recalled their memories the day ten years earlier. Vincent Cavataio, Student Government Association president, thought nothing was out of the ordinary that morning when he was called down to his school’s office to meet his mother.

Maybe he was going out to eat with family, the seventh-grader thought, after all, Sept. 11 is his mother’s birthday.

Cavataio has relatives who live in Manhattan, and walked into the school’s office to see his mother “in hysterics.” There they watched CNN as the second plane hit the Towers.

“And I will always remember that moment — the look on my mom’s face, the gasp, the not knowing what to say, then looking at me,” the Shelby Township senior said. “She just looked at me, and she didn’t know how to explain what was happening.”

In his speech, Cotter reminded everyone that 9/11 was an “attack not only on buildings, but on our freedom and our way of life.”

About 250 students, with candles in hand, gathered on the evening of Sept. 11 outside the Charles V. Park Library to observe the anniversary.

The ceremony, organized by the Volunteer Center, began with the lighting of one candle, which shared its flame until more than 75 candles were lit.

Workers from the Volunteer Center opened the program by sharing their inspirations to hold the ceremony.

Later during the ceremony, students were given a opportunity to speak about what 9/11 meant to them. Some students spoke about how it affected them, while others spoke about what inspired them to attend the remembrance event.

The remembrance ceremony closed with a moment of silence followed by blowing out all the candles.

More than 170 students attended the first SUSO forum of the school year, “10 Years after 9/11: What Have We Learned?” held on Sept. 15. One of the discussion topics at the forum was the U.S. foreign and domestic policy in response to the terrorist attacks.

Political Science Associate Professor David Jesuit facilitated the forum. He said 9/11 was a transformative event for many CMU students who were only eight to 12 years old at the time.

The panel included Political Science Fixed-Term Instructors Prakash Adhikari, Justin Hoyle and Thomas Stewart; as well as Rochester Hills junior Jacquelyn Keenan and Falmouth junior Timothy Kimbel.

Central Michigan Life published a special section in commemoration of the attacks' 10th anniversary.