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Honor, Remember and Carry On

As we return to the Monmouth campus after a short and humid summer, there are other things on our minds besides setting up our dorm rooms and preparing for classes.

This past Sunday, our country mourned the horrific tragedy, September 11, for the 10th time.

It’s hard to imagine that an entire decade has passed since many of us students watched the burning of the two towers on television during our junior high and elementary classes. September 11 is one of those days when, no matter how much time has passed, you know exactly where you were, what you were doing, and the first thoughts that popped into your head.

If you read the front page news story discussing the national disaster, it’s plain and simple: the thousands of lives that were lost are anything but forgotten. Faculty, staff and students commented on their whereabouts that fateful day, their opinions on how the country has changed since 9/11, and more. The footprints are still there from the treacherous state the attacks left America in. Our guards have gone up, and over the course of 10 years they have only gotten thicker instead of easing down.

The University did a wise thing by creating a 9/11 Remembrance Event, that was held this past Sunday on the Residential Quad. A candlelight ceremony, a moment of silence and a toast to a future of recovery and optimism is appropriate for paying our respects.

In a University-wide e-mail sent on Thursday, President Paul G. Gaffney II wrote: “On Sundays we are typically a quiet campus. We will break that tranquility this Sunday as we toll bells to remember the thousands of Americans – some friends, some family – who were lost in the criminal attacks on September 11, a decade ago. We take that moment to reflect, pray, remember.”

You may have lost someone during these terrible terrorist attacks. You may not have known anyone. Either way, it doesn’t matter; you were personally affected from the damage infringed on our country. Seeing the videos replay on television and online as well as photos that are reprinted frequently, it’s impossible to forget the loss we, as a nation, truly suffered.

With other catastrophes this summer such as the debt ceiling crisis and the stock market crashes, it’s hard to see which direction America is going in. Where is that light at the end of the tunnel?

The important thing is to honor those who are no longer with us, but to also carry hope that our nation will stand taller than the Twin Towers did more than 10 years ago. As a campus with over 6,000 students in addition to a mass amount of faculty, staff and administrators, we can take that hope and make it a promise.

Nevertheless, take pride as new and returning Hawks this year. After an unexpected earthquake and hurricane that shook the state, and now remembering the devastating attacks of 9/11, we could use some brighter news as we shuffle across the Great Lawn.

There is a lot to be excited about: Edison Hall is finally finished, the commuter lot has been redesigned and students are awaiting the completion of the new 800 building, said to be completed next fall.

As we know, the weeks fly by and the semesters end before we can blink an eye. Take in each day at Monmouth with a breath of fresh air, and make this year your most promising yet.