By Amelia Kibbe
Members of the St. Bonaventure Community gathered in front of the William E. and Ann L. Swan Business Center at noon today, remembering the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
This year’s ceremony honored not only those whose lives were lost in the attacks on the World Trade Centers and the Pentagon but also those who have died fighting for peace since that day.
The service opened with the presentation of colors by members of the St. Bonaventure Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) and was immediately followed by the singing of the national anthem by Micaela Young.
Fr. Francis Di Spigno, O.F.M. welcomed those present and urged the need for peace in a troubled world.
“We are gathered to remember thirteen years ago,” Fr. Francis said in his speech. “We gather to pray for peace in our world. We gather for the peace and safety of men and women in uniform. We gather for the safety of all peoples of the world, so that we may truly come to know and to be that peace which is our only salvation.”
He then led a prayer in remembrance of, “the day our lives changed forever.”
After biblical readings from Isaiah, those in attendance joined Fr. Francis to pray for peace in all countries, especially those which are war-torn and full of poverty. The prayer service concluded with the playing of taps and the placing of flowers on the September 11 memorial.
Alyssa Zlotnicki, a junior bioinformatics major, was a lector at the service. She explained Sept. 11 is a solemn day in the lives of all Americans and a day very close to her heart.
“It’s certainly a very important event to me,” Zlotnicki said. “I lost a relative that day. This service is a reminder of what brave people have done for us. It helps us remember the people we might have had connections to.”
Noah Burton, a sophomore political science major and a member of St. Bonaventure’s ROTC, also commented on the impact the terrorist attacks had on his life.
“It’s a big deal for our generation,” Burton said. “We were young when it happened, but most of us remember it. It’s the Pearl Harbor of our generation.”
Burton added being a member of the St. Bonaventure ROTC program has made him look at Sept. 11 in a new light.
“You get a different perspective,” Burton said. “You realize just how much some people gave up so we can live the way we do today.”