The morning of Sept. 11, 2001 changed everything in American society and the world. On that infamous day I was completing a long shift as a paramedic in Reno, Nevada. Since I am the son of a firefighter and am a relative of emergency responders in the New York area, Sept. 11 hit home, a hard blow to reality.
My father, a national training officer for federal emergency response, was in Edison, New Jersey that morning. My family did not hear from him for two days. Surrounded by firefighters, paramedics, police officers and friends, I watch the once secure fabric of America unravel. I, like virtually every other American, vowed to never forget 9/11.
Fast-forward five years, to the fifth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on New York, Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania that changed the world. I drove to campus passing homes, businesses and schools that were flying flags at half-mast. I was at the airport at midnight and witnessed the world’s flags flying close to the ground in remembrance. The world was not forgetting what had happened.
My morning marathon jaunt across campus to fetch a cup of joe before class was halted when I looked up in shock that, in an area of campus dedicated to freedom, the flags were flying high above at full-mast.
In my morning class we had a moment of silence commemorating the day. All I could think about was that our flags had been flying high. Did our university forget the unforgettable?
Harold Todd, chief of university police, said, “I told someone to do it and they just forgot.”
They just forgot? How could someone just forget Sept. 11?
I awoke to every news station remembering Sept. 11. I listened to several personal accounts on the radio and television about what they say on Sept. 11. The cover of the newspaper in the gas station showed the all-too-familiar photos of that morning. Even if it escaped my memory in the early morning, I was reminded within minutes of the infamous anniversary.
According the chief, “(I) never got anything from the university. (I) just thought it was the best thing to do.”
So who handles the request in the university to lower the flags at half-mast in honor of 9/11 completed? Did they actually forget?
Frankly, I am very supportive of the administration and the great people who work to provide us a safe campus to learn on, but they have let me down. President James Votruba was not on campus Monday. He did send out an e-mail to Northern Kentucky University entirely to remind everyone to reflect on the day. Perhaps some people should have read the e-mail.
I will never forget 9/11, as a former emergency responder, my fellow brethren gave their lives that day. More than 2,000 innocent citizens died as well. How could the university forget any of them? How could the university forget to commemorate the day that the world will never forget?