VINCENNES, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Students, staff and volunteers took advantage of a beautiful day Wednesday to honor the lives of 9/11 victims on a empty space on Vincennes University’s quad.
From speeches, TAPS and a 21 gun salute, to lastly placing 3000 flags, one for every life lost on Sept. 11, 2001, it was a celebration that started as an idea weeks ago.
Event organizer and student Aynsley Miller said her inspiration came from thinking of how to truly honor each fallen victim.
“I think it’s important to have these celebration,” Miller said. “Not only did it happen in New York , it shook the whole United States. We need celebrations like this to commemorate and remember those people.”
She added that she was not born until a year after the original attacks.
“Everyone remembers where they were, including your parents,” Miller said. “For me, I think it’s important we remember these lives. Every life deserves to be honored.”
In attendance was fellow student and Iraq war veteran, Matthew Wooten. He said he hopes 3000 flags not only serve as a remembrance to the lives lost on 9/11, but also the countless others who died in combat.
“I think it’s important to keep stuff, especially stuff that forged our national psyche, very fresh in the mind of people,” Wooten said. “To remind people, 3000 Americans lost their lives that day and thousands of Americans have lost their lives since. It’s just important to remember what got us there first.”
13 flags were also set aside to honor the lives lost in Kabul last month. Patrick Gardiner attended the event and described the tribute as “one that hits close to home.”
“I had a friend that was over there and I’m thankful he made it out okay,” he said. “It’s important to honor the bravery here.”
After Sept. 11, the Department of Homeland Security was created. For Gardiner, a Homeland Security major at VU, planting flags with his fellow students served as a time of reflection and thinking of the difference that can be made.
“Being able to use these tragedies and sad events of the past to help secure a better future for all people, regardless of young, old, and all across the county for the rest of our existence is really an honor for me,” he said.
Louis Caprino serves as V.U.’s Department chair for Homeland Security, Law and Safety. Wednesday’s celebration made him proud as an educator while he reminisced of his time as an F.B.I Agent based out of New York from 1978-2007.
“I had quite a few engagements at the World Trade Center, a lot of people that died that day I was familiar with and friends with. It was a very impactful day in my life,” he said. “20 years later, the feelings are just as strong.”
Caprino was out of the country on 9/11, but said the landscape of the F.B.I changed after that day.
Vincennes University is planning on hosting more events discussing the significance of 9/11 on Friday. More information can be found by clicking this link.