9/11 victims remembered at Wilson
Last year’s Sept. 11 commemorative ceremonies were the most widespread and intricate since the attack 11 years ago.
Last year, the country paused to remember the 10th anniversary of the decade-defining tragedy. Nationwide remembrance culminated in the opening of the National Sept. 11 Memorial and Museum in New York City.
But this year is a different story.
In Chapel Hill, commemorative ceremonies are fewer in number.
Wilson Library’s lawn will once again be home to the UNC-CH College Republicans’ annual memorial, in which they place one American flag on the lawn for each victim that died in the attacks – 2,819 in total, said Garrett Jacobs, the organization’s chairman.
“The night before Sept. 11, we put the flags on the lawn in front of Wilson Library. They are up all day to commemorate the victims of the attack,” Jacobs said.
Across the state, N.C. Gov. Bev Perdue announced Monday in a press release that residents are welcome to participate in a National Day of Service and Remembrance.
The day will include honoring victims’ families, sending thank-you notes to troops, constructing a house and donating jackets for the homeless.
Specific projects are being undertaken in Buncombe, Forsyth, Gaston, Stokes and Wake counties.
“On this Sept. 11 Day of Service, members of these outstanding organizations are taking the initiative to show appreciation to our brave servicemen and women,” Perdue said.
“I encourage all North Carolinians to get involved and participate in community service events that honor veterans and military families.”
Outside of these events, there are few being held on the local level or across the state, said Sarah Pickel, N.C. State University’s events scheduler, and Jackie Gorman, programs administrator for UNC-CH’s peace, war and defense department.
But neither Jacobs, nor Nick Black, president of the UNC-CH Kenan-Flagler Military Veterans Club, believe that fewer services are an issue.
“This does not concern me as I feel the intent of remembering the victims is carried throughout the year,” Black said in an email.
Jacobs cited the winding down of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that started after Sept. 11 as a possible reason for the lack of ceremonies.
“The 11th anniversary is usually not a big one like the fifth, 10th or 15th,” he added.
Tyler Staverman, a student veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom who attends UNC-Wilmington, said he puts more stock in acknowledging what the day means rather than looking for recognition or reward.
“As long as they recognize that it is 9/11, it’s not about recognizing me,” Staverman said.
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