JSU Newswire
Jacksonville, Alabama

Text of President's Address
at JSU's 9/11 Service

In Remembrance
JSU's Memorial Service
First Anniversary of September 11th

We gather today in remembrance of those lost and in tribute to the heroes. I thank all of you for your presence here today as we mark the solemn first anniversary of September 11th.

Words cannot express the deep sense of sorrow and loss we share. All of us have been touched by the horrific scenes of the events we witnessed last year. We know, we remember, each time we see planes passing above. Etched in our minds are the images of the Twin Towers and the Pentagon.

We remember those we lost--our own Maj. Dwayne Williams whose parents, Pearl and Horace Williams, are here with us today. We remember the heroes, the emergency responders, our firefighters, police, rescue workers, 911 operators, doctors and nurses. We remember also those who have served and are serving in our armed forces and those of our international allies. Tomorrow, Tony Hathcock, the son of our TV services director, Mike Hathcock, will leave with other members of the 20th Special Forces unit for Afghanistan. We wish them God's speed. We also remember Michael Spann and others who have given their lives in fighting terrorism.

September 11th has changed us in many ways, touched us personally; and many of us feel less secure, less certain about the future. But we need to remember the courage of the heroes on that fateful day--heroes like those on Flight 93 who stopped the hijackers and gave us the words of courage in the phrase "Let's Roll!"

The destruction and pain experienced from any national tragedy can thrust us into depression, confusion and doubt. As we remember the events of September 11th, let us focus on the stories of triumph and human compassion. Let us remember that wringing hands never accomplish a thing; the work only begins when we roll up our sleeves and give helping hands.

I celebrate the way you picked up, carried on and gave helping hands. You the members of this university community and city have contributed, helped others in numerous, meaningful ways. You have done your best to make life normal once again, and I appreciate all you have done.

We have changed since that day, but we have learned to embrace what we have. As a local community, a nation and a world, we've been reminded that our way of life is worth fighting for. We will never forget those who suffered. We will not forget those who perpetrated these acts of terrorism.

Let us also remain committed to ending the scourge of terrorism and dedicated to a future where children of all nations can live without fear and flourish in peace. Thank you. God Bless You. God Bless America. God Bless the World.


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