Surrounded by a crowd of about 30 people the flag of the United States flew high, illuminated by candlelight at the 2nd Annual CSU-Pueblo 9/11 Observation held on campus at the 9/11 Memorial Thursday evening.
The event was organized by the Diversity Resource Center student staff leads, Muhammad Talha Quershi and Fredlina Atencio, along with the Center for International Programs, the Veteran’s Club and the CSU-Pueblo Islamic Cultural Society.
The event began with the burning of the candles, a welcome address by Quershi, and the singing of the national anthem by CSU-Pueblo student, Josh Floyd.
Floyd’s rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” echoed through the rippling of the flag, gusts of wind and misting rain, and those present stood united as one, honoring those who lost their lives during one of the worst attacks in U.S. history.
Following Floyd’s singing of the national anthem, prayers were performed by Juleen Edwards of the Pueblo Community of Friends, who also performed prayers at last year’s observation.
Roosevelt Wilson was the next to speak.
Wilson, a 25-year-old United States Air Force veteran had numerous assignments both in the states and overseas. He spent time in Washington D.C., at the Pentagon, in England, Germany, Bulgaria, Turkey, Romania and several other duty stations. He currently serves as the Director for the Office of Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action and Title IX Coordinator at CSU-Pueblo.
Wilson’s speech consisted of lessons he believes people could learn this horrific day in order to honor the people who lost and sacrificed their lives on 9/11.
These lessons include patriotism, which allows Americans to be truly devoted to their nation, reaching out to help one another at a time of need and not just when disaster strikes, and the struggle to keep suspicion and fear from creating more violence, using it instead to generate positive change. And most important, to be a positive influence in the world around us.
“What 9/11 has taught us is that we cannot escape the rest of the world, because what happens in other parts of the world affects other Americans as well,” said Wilson. “Consider what you can do to make things better.”
It is important to move forward, but never forget the lessons learned from 9/11.
Photos and slide show by Rick Hernandez.