Events Commemorate Terrorist Attacks

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An American flag is placed on top of the Twin Towers recreation built by Mark Cline for use at Glen Maury Park.

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Workers help install the recreation of the Twin Towers built by Mark Cline at the hill at Glen Maury Park.

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Multiple events are scheduled this Saturday in Buena Vista and Lexington to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

At 9 a.m., the Lexington Fire Department will, as it has done since the 10th anniversary, remember the victims of the attack in a brief ceremony at the firehouse.

Coffee and doughnuts will provided, and area residents are invited to come early or stay late to enjoy the refreshments. Parking is available at the rear and side of the building.

In Buena Vista, a memorial service will begin at 10 a.m. at Glen Maury Park's double-decker pavilion.

The city of Buena Vista is sponsoring the event, which will include remarks by local veterans, politicians and others who will share their perspectives on the anniversary. There will be patriotic music by Southern Virginia University and others as well as a seven-gun military salute.

The event will be centered around the recreation of local artist Mark Cline's 2006 memorial sculpture of the TwinTowers that he made from two metal storage containers, each 40 feet tall.

Attendees are asked to follow all current CDC guidelines. Seating is limited so attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs. There will be a parking shuttle available from the park's main parking area.

Washington and LeeUniversity is also sponsoring a series of events on Saturday.

Everyone in the community is invited to gather on StemmonsPlaza in front of Huntley Hall at 8:46 a.m., the exact time American Airlines flight 11 struck the NorthTower of the WorldTradeCenter in New York City. At that time, the university will observe a moment of silence while the University Chapel bells are tolled in commemoration of the anniversary.

Following the tolling of bells, President Will Dudley will address attendees, followed by remarks from Robert Strong, William Lyne Wilson Professor in Political Economy, James Torbert ’23, Executive Committee president for the 2021-22 school year, and Leeden Rukstalis ‘23L, second-year law representative on the Executive Committee.

The program will also include acknowledgment of the two W&L alumni who perished in the attacks, Rob Schlegel ’85 and James Gadiel ’00. Schlegel was on the staff of the Chief of U.S. Naval Operations at the Pentagon and had been promoted to commander just weeks before the attack; Gadiel worked in the equities department of Cantor Fitzgerald, on the 103rd floor of the NorthTower of the WorldTradeCenter.

The backdrop for the ceremony will be a sea of 2,977 American flags placed along the length of StemmonsPlaza by W&L student groups in honor of those who died in the attacks. Groups participating in the flag-planting, which will take place starting at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 10, include College Republicans, College Democrats, Students for Historical Preservation, Catholic Campus Ministries, English Speakers of Other Languages, Habitat for Humanity, Hillel and Love 146. The placing of American flags is an annual tradition on the W&L campus that typically takes place along the Colonnade and the walkway to University Chapel, but the location was changed this year because a make-up commencement ceremony for the class of 2020 will take place on the front lawn at 10:30 a.m. on Sept. 11.

In the weeks leading up to the ceremony, the student organizations participating in the flag placement have been raising funds for two organizations: the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund and The Khaled Hosseini Foundation.

“We decided to fundraise for these two organizations because we believe it’s important to remember that 9/11 not only affected the United States, but also had lasting ramifications across the globe that we’re still witnessing today,” said Judy Park ’22, president of College Democrats.


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