Ceremony at Suffolk honors 9/11 victims

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Grace MacDonald

The Suffolk community gathers at the remembrance ceremony in Sargent Hall

Suffolk University students, faculty members, administrators and graduates gathered in the lobby of Sargent Hall Thursday to remember those who died in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks 20 years ago this weekend.

Members of the Suffolk community paused for a moment of silence at the start of the ceremony, which honored the nearly 3,000 people who perished that September morning after four airplanes were hijacked by terrorists. Two of those planes crashed into the twin towers at the World Trade Center in New York City, another flew into the side of the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. and the last plane crashed into a field in Pennsylvania, killing nearly 3,000 people.

The Suffolk University Chaplain, Reverend Amy Fisher, shared a speech about remembrance and healing.

“We see the ripples of that tragic day continue to impact our world twenty years later,” Fisher said.

President Marisa Kelly made a blog post about the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, and while she was unable to attend the memorial service, Dean David DeAngelis shared a portion of her post with the audience.

“It is important to take a moment to stop, remember the lives lost, and reflect on how the past two decades have shaped the world we enter together as a University community this fall,” Kelly wrote.

SGA President Angela El-Jazzar also delivered remarks at the ceremony.

“I’d like to start by honoring the courageous individuals who put themselves in harm’s way to save people they’ve never come across, people who were complete strangers,” said El-Jazzar.

She also spoke about the strength of the survivors and the unity and determination of the country following the attacks.

Suffolk Law School Student Bar Association Chief of Staff Tristan Smith told the story of Welles Crowther, a graduate from Boston College, who is credited with saving as many as 18 lives before the South Tower of the World Trade Center collapsed on 9/11.

Crowther, who was a volunteer firefighter, became known as “Man in the Red Bandana” because he had a red bandana, given to him as a kid by his father, over his nose and mouth as he rescued people following the attacks.

Donna Montgomery, president of the Graduate Student Association, made a speech expressing her gratitude to all who provided aid after the attacks, including her own mother, a now retired New York state trooper who checked trucks for bombs inside the Lincoln Tunnel for a long time after the attacks took place.

She also urged the ceremony’s attendees to reflect on their own attitudes and actions.

“As we remember the 2,977 lives lost, and the countless others stemming since the attacks, including first responders and volunteers, I urge you to go out of your way, today especially, to be kinder to yourselves, your neighbors, the strangers you pass on the sidewalk, in Boston Common and on the subway,” Montgomery said.

After the 9/11 memorial service concluded, Montgomery stressed the importance of continuing to remember the attacks and the pain they caused the nation.

“Some of us may not remember this day, or we weren’t even born yet, so for Suffolk to continue to do these memorials each year is very significant,” she said.