Never forget: UMW students organize candlelight vigil to commemorate 9/11
On Sept. 11, 2001, 2,977 people lost their lives in a systematic terror plot that shook the United States to its very core. A decade later, members of the University of Mary Washington community stopped to reflect on how that day changed the world around them and to honor all those who had died.
One of the events planned was a musical performance sponsored by Cantor Fitzgerald, a capital markets investment bank that lost nearly 700 employees in the World Trade Center.
Composer David Lisik was slated to give a world premier performance of his piece that is a threnody, or song of morning, for Sept. 11 on Saturday, but could not make it because of flooding in New York City.
Instead, Associate Professor of Music Mark Snyder compiled musical pieces that included performances of his original works, “Harvey” and “Alluvium.” In addition, recorded pieces by the two musical groups, Cornstar and BT, were included.
Professor Snyder said in choosing the pieces he wanted to capture “the spirit of what David had written.”
Additionally, a student-organized candlelight memorial took place Sunday in Palmieri Plaza. The event was a joint effort by the College Republicans and Young Democrats and included musical performances by two A Cappela groups on campus BellA’capella and the Symfonics.
Chairman of the College Republicans Erica Gouse and College Republican member Elizabeth Brennan spearheaded the planning behind the event. The two had been working on the idea since last March and both were pleased with all the support from the community.
“We wanted to convey the feeling of community the nation had after the attacks,” said Brennan.
Rear Admiral John Christenson, who was in the Pentagon during the attack, was the main speaker for the event.
Christenson described how he “could see black smoke bellowing up” from the side of the Pentagon and urged all in attendance to “never forget that day.”
President Rick Hurley, who spoke at the memorial, stated, “Our lives were changed forever that day.”
BellA’capella sang the national anthem and the Symfonics closed out the event.
The last event held was a moment of silence at noon on Monday, Sept. 12,. Hurley stood with other faculty, staff and students gathered along campus walk by George Washington Hall to remember the victims and their families as the bell tower rang.
The somber event prompted many students to reminisce about their own personal experiences from Sept. 11.
One student, sophomore Irene Satchwell remembered how her father, a New York City police officer, was among those who helped with the rescue effort.
“We didn’t see him at all for almost two weeks. At first, our neighbors thought he was among those who had died,” she recalled.
Photo by Marie Sicola