Students plant flags for Never Forget Project
Twelve years after the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City, Grand Valley State University’s College Republican chapter is partnering with the Student Senate to host the 9/11 Never Forget Project, which will take place on GVSU’s Allendale Campus.
The lawn east of the Kirkhof Center between the sidewalk and Zumberge pond has been reserved for Sept. 11, when the group will be arranging 2,977 U.S. flags to represent the 2,977 victims of the terror attacks. There will also be a moment of silence occurring at noon that will be followed by patriotic music from the bell tower.
The College Republican chapter approached the Student Senate this summer to ask them to co-sponsor the event.
“Nothing has been done to commemorate the event since I began here as a freshman two years ago,” said Andrew McLean, president of the College Republicans. “I thought it was important to commemorate this event that shaped our lives forever.”
Ricardo Benavidez, Student Senate president, also feels it’s an important event to have on campus.
“It is important to know that this memorial is a bipartisan event held in the honor of those affected by the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001,” Benavidez said.
Many of the flags are already owned by the Student Senate; however, about 1,900 were purchased with the College Republicans’ budget, which comes from donors who live in Grand Rapids and surrounding areas—some private, some sitting officials.
“We wanted to ensure that we were remembering the events of Sept. 11 with the most pride possible, and new flags are how we are doing that,” Benavidez said. “It is very important for the university to remember the events of that day, not only to honor the victims and the heroes, but to remember and move forward as a nation.”
Many individuals born prior to and in the early 1990s remember exactly where they were 12 years ago when they heard the news about the tragedies in New York City, the Pentagon and near Shanksville, Pa.
“Although this was a terror attack on the United States, as a nation we must remember the effects the events of this day had all over the globe,” Benavidez said. “With this simple motion, Grand Valley can show the world that we have not forgotten, and that we will never forget the events of that infamous day.”
The College Republican chapter is encouraging students to use the hashtag “#NeverForgetGV” while tweeting and Instagramming about the event.