College Republicans pay homage to lives lost on 9/11
Neither the rain nor the cold could deter College Republicans from setting up their 13th annual Sept. 11 memorial.
Between the Charles V. Park Library and Fabiano Gardens, nearly 3,000 American flags ran the length of the lawn, each of them representing one of the almost 3,000 individuals who died in the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and United Flight 93.
At 7 a.m., Ottorino Schincariol, chairman of the College Republicans, repeats the motions of placing flag after flag in the ground. He still remembers where he was when the “Twin Towers” fell.
“I was in first grade,” he said. “I remembered the principal coming over the loud speaker telling the teachers to meet in the hallway. The teachers later came back in crying saying that bad men had attacked New York.”
Six members of the College Republicans worked diligently to plug flag after flag into the ground in an impressive display of American patriotism. Four manila signs also stand before the memorial to explain its purpose to passer-bys.
“When you hear the number 3,000 it’s a lot, it’s a big number,” Schincariol said. “But when you see 3,000 then you realize it’s a big number.”
Schincariol hopes that when students walk by the memorial, they will do it with respect and internal reflection on the events of the past.
“I hope people kind of stop their day and look out here and remember what happened,” Schincariol said.
The flag memorial isn’t anything new to the College Republican. For a Sept. 11 charity golf tournament, the College Republicans also set up a flag memorial at Maple Creek Golf Course in Shepherd.
Marie Sokolosky, social media chair for the College Republicans, can’t remember much of her own Sept. 11, 2001 experience, but still plants flags in hopes that students will stop and remember the fallen.
“This is in the most popular part of campus where most people walk,” Sokolosky said. “I don’t think people would forget this day – college kids, I mean we’re busy and I don’t think we really have the time to stop and think. But when you see 3,000 flags just chilling on the lawn you stop and go ‘Oh, hey’. It really puts things into perspective.”
As students walked by in the early morning, several stopped to glance at the memorial in homage or to take pictures, doing just as Schincariol intended. The flags will stay on the lawn next to the UC walking pathway until the following evening, when members of the College Republicans will meet again for takedown and clean up.
One of the students who stopped to take in the memorial was Brianna Edwardson, a sophomore from San Antonio, Texas. She cited the sheer number of flags as the reason that she stopped, and then commended the College Republicans for their efforts in paying tribute to those who lost their lives in the 2001 terrorist attack.
“It definitely hits you hard because you have to remember [Sept. 11],” She said. “It’s just overwhelming sometimes. But it’s a good overwhelming.”
Flags which spell out the numbers “911” also adorn the front grass of the UC, done by a fraternity from Greek Life sometime late on the night of Sept. 10.