Campus community unites for 20th anniversary 9/11 ceremony

On Sept. 9, the campus community came together for a 20th Anniversary commemoration ceremony in remembrance of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Local police officers, firefighters and service members were in attendance, many of whom are Lewis alumni.

The ceremony was preceded by a performance from the Joliet Police Department Pipes and Drums. Eric Wilson, anchor of Eyewitness News and Lewis alumnus, acted as the Master of Ceremony during the event. Additional speeches and keynotes were delivered by Brother Pierre St. Raymond, President Dr. David Livingston, Brother Ed Arambasich, Congressman Bill Foster and Provost Dr. Christopher Stindt.

Arambasich, chaplain of the Fire Department at Quincy University, spoke about his experiences during the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Arambasich recounted the story of Father Mychal Judge being the first official casualty of the attacks while anointing a dying firefighter.

Lingston followed up Arambasich’s story with a speech focusing on the need for justice.  He also spoke on ways to pursue justice morally while also emphasizing the need to communicate the importance of the attack to people that were not alive during 9/11.

Foster focused on his personal experiences during the 9/11 attacks as well, in addition to touching on the uncertain nature of the U.S. military and civil response to the attacks. Foster also homed in on the fundamental theme of, “what we want our country to be” at the end of his speech to convey the weight and scope of the attacks to those who may not yet have been alive to experience the event.

The 20th Anniversary commemoration ceremony concluded with words from St. Raymond. “On that day we did not focus on our nationality, our wealth, our race nor our education,” said St. Raymond. “We focused on humanity and love for our fellow Americans.” 

The commemoration, and its speakers, emphasized that 9/11will remain a day that changed the U.S. forever. Through the pain of the attacks, to the unity experienced by the American people on that day, the ceremony signified that one thing is for certain: we will never forget.

Photo Credit: Louis DeLuca/Dallas Morning News/MCT

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