CMU College Republicans display American flags on campus in honor of 9/11
Every year for more than a decade, members of the College Republicans at Central Michigan University have placed small American flags on campus for every life lost in the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
College Republicans President Sarah Jeffrey, a junior from Temperance, said this year the group decided to present the flags Sunday in Fabiano Botanical Garden since Sept. 11 fell on a Monday and many members had class.
The 3,000 flags were displayed until sunset Sunday, when members came and took them down. Jeffrey said they take them down so the flags were properly displayed, which is only in daylight hours.
With her fourth year of participating in the flagging, Jeffrey described the experience as humbling.
“Seeing a visualization of how many lives were lost, you always see the number, and (think) wow that’s a lot of people,” Jeffrey said. “But putting all the flags in the ground, each flag is supposed to represent a person, (so you’re) actually seeing it.”
College Republicans work with Young America’s Foundation 9/11: Never Forget Project, an organization that helps campuses across the country remember 9/11 in an appropriate way.
Connor Ewald, College Republicans public relations coordinator, participated in the flagging for the first time this year. He felt the flagging was important because it’s a way to give tribute to those who lost their lives on 9/11.
“(It is) a way for people to put aside politics and differences,” the Elkton senior said. “That day we’re not college republicans, we’re individuals. We’re Americans. On that day we’re coming together to pay respect.”
Vice President Jeff Malear, a junior from Novi, was enthused to help this year for the day of remembrance.
“Personally, I think it’s important to support the families of 9/11, and to come together as a nation,” Malear said. “It’s a great way to show support.”
Presenting the flags on CMU’s campus, Jeffrey noted how significant it was to recognize all the people who lost their lives 16 years ago.
“It’s a good reminder we need to strive every day to just be good people, be better people and love everyone because you never know when those people will never be in your lives again,” Jeffrey said.