The University honored Veterans Day through the dedication of the 9/11 Veterans Day Memorial, recognizing the donors and completing the National Remembrance Day Roll Call on Nov. 11 at 9 am.
At the base of the monument is a twisted piece of steel that was recovered from the World Trade Center after the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, said Mary Anne Nagy, Vice President of Student and Community Services.
The 9/11 Veterans Day Memorial was installed in front of Edison Hall in the beginning of the fall 2013 semester. The memorial was donated to the University two years ago by Judy Eisenberg, a University Life Trustee, and Lewis Eisenberg, Port Authority Chairman of NY and NJ.
“This is truly a unique and special privilege that [my family] and I were able to provide as a lasting memory, not only of those who perished on 9/11, but for those who have given their lives, their sacrifice in so many ways to defend our life, our liberty and our individual freedoms,” said Lewis Eisenberg.
President Dr. Paul Brown officially dedicated the 9/11 Veterans Day Memorial to the University during the ceremony. “May it remind [all who walk by] of the events of Sept. 11, 2001, the courageous acts and sacrifices made by our military veterans, and the unstinting American spirit to guide us into the future,” said Brown.
Brown said the base of the memorial, the piece of steel recovered from the wreckage, was attained by the University Student Veterans Association through the NY, NJ Port Authority.
The podium is engraved with the message “Here stands once more a symbol to 9/11 Heroes and America’s Military Veterans.” The memorial was designed by Raymond G Klose, University alumnus and President and CEO of the Klose Associations.
Following the ceremony, the National Remembrance Day Roll Call was read for the remainder of the day for the third year in a row.
“We will be here all day reading over 6,700 names,” said Brown. “You will hear the names from the moment the ceremony is concluded, until we continue until every last name is read and as a name is read we will remember and we will be thinking about those individuals.”
Brown explained that it is “absolutely the right thing to do.” The nationwide event is practiced at 80 other universities, the University adopted in two years ago.
The list of 6,725 names included every life lost in Iraq and Afghanistan up until Nov. 11 from ages 22 to 102. Jeffrey Hood, Coordinator of Veteran Services, said, “We just added a name today, so it’s current.”
Hood explained that he divided the list into sections of 250 names that were read every 15 minutes by a list 27 volunteers. The reader volunteers included Judy and Lewis Eisenberg, Brown, Hood and students and faculty throughout the University.
Hood said that he list of readers was determined on a first come first served basis. He gave veterans the first opportunity, and then opened the opportunity up to the University campus and those interested.
“It is really an important thing to all veterans,” said Amy Bellina, Director of Student Activities and Student Center Operations who participated in the reading for the first time this year. “It was a really nice service to honor all who gave their lives.”
Bellina said that she has veterans in her family and she felt that reading some of the names of people who lost their lives in the line of duty was an important way to honor the veterans. “It is really moving if you think about it,” said Bellina.
Brown said that on Veterans Day, “we have to just stop for a moment and always remember that day … please stop and think about where you were on [Sept. 11].”
Brown said that he and his family were in New York City, about a half a mile from the World Trade Center.
Eisenberg said the Port Authority had an office in the World Trade Center in tower 1, on the 67th floor on Sept. 11. “For the sixty days, from that day on, I spent virtually some part of every day at ground zero,” said Lewis Eisenberg.
“I was merely a spectator amongst the hall and ground filled with heroes, with first responders, with valiant and brave police officers and tremendously courageous firefighters…” he added.
Brown also remembered his family members that served in the line of duty during the ceremony. Brown first mentioned his brother, who served in the Vietnam War, his wife’s father, who served in the Army Air Core in the Navy during the Battle of the Bulge as a radio operator, and finally his uncle, who said he would occasionally get to speak to as a kid while he was overseas.
Susan Elmwood, a University junior communication student said, “It’s important to recognize those who have and are serving because they have chosen to selflessly protect the American people and get little to no thanks on a daily basis.”
Both of Elmwood’s grandparents served our nation in the service, and her brother is currently serving in the Navy on the U.S.S. Ronald Regan, which is ported in San Diego.
Elmwood continued, “It is truly one of the most noble jobs a person can have and people should be aware that this holiday is to commemorate this kind of bravery for it is unique.”
If anyone wishes to participate in reading the list of veterans’ names next year, contact Jeffrey Hood at email@example.com.
PHOTO TAKEN by Tara Cirincione
PHOTO TAKEN by Jessica Roberts
PHOTO TAKEN by Tara Cirincione