Friends and family gathered Tuesday morning to remember not the lives lost, but the memories that remain of loved ones at a dedication of the 9/11 Memorial Garden.
Created in memory of six University alumni who died in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the garden was the gift of the class of 2005.
"I think it's fantastic, and I am overwhelmed that this day has finally come," Jovian Irvin, class of 2005 president, said at Tuesday's dedication ceremony.
"I'm really excited that we can do this for the families not only on campus, but all over the country."
Honored at the dedication were fallen UNC alumni:
?Karleton Douglas Beye Fyfe, class of 1992;
?Mary Lou Hague, class of 1996;
?Andrew Marshall King, class of 1983;
?Ryan Ashley Kohart, class of 1998;
?Dora Menchaca, class of 1978; and
?Christopher Quackenbush, class of 1979.
The ceremony began with the presentation of the flags by the Army, Navy and Air Force ROTC Color Guard and a welcome address by Chancellor James Moeser.
T.J. Abrams, class of 2005 treasurer, acknowledged those who contributed to the construction and development of the memorial.
"For us the events of Sept. 11 will always be a part of our Carolina experience," Abrams said in his speech. "It will always be a place to remember six members of our Carolina family."
Irvin explained that the on-campus memorial was inspired by the fact that the attacks occurred within the first weeks of their college careers.
"We talked about what mattered, what's not going to go away," Irvin said.
"This mattered to us," she said. "We didn't want it to be a single, limiting gift."
The garden is nestled between the George Watts Hill Alumni Center and Kenan Stadium. Within the garden is a seating area, as well as a plaque that reads, "Given by the Class of 2005 in memory of the Carolina alumni who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001." It is accompanied by a quote from Moeser's speech the day after the attacks.
After the dedication, Moeser said he was pleased by the generosity of the class of 2005.
"I think it's a very poignant moment," he said.
He also said the dedication shows an overall commitment to community service in the wake of tragedy.
As the ceremony concluded, UNC a cappella group the Tar Heel Voices led the singing of the University's alma mater.
Liza Adams, the mother of Mary Lou Hague, said after the event that she's grateful her daughter's memory will continue to live on campus.
"For her to have her name on the campus she loved is great," Adams said. "It was a lovely thing the class of 2005 did."
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