“Death can’t separate love or take away memories…Life is stronger than death,” said Florida A&M University’s Provost Cynthia Hughes-Harris.
The tragedy of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001 was memorialized Friday at FAMU’s eternal flame. Students and faculty gave honor to lives lost, but not forgotten.
Calvin Hayes, Student Government Association vice president, remembers sitting in his middle school classroom in Orlando when the world trade center was attacked.
“I thought it was unreal…I was in shock,” Hayes said.
Hayes said although the attack is not a good memory, students must reflect on this event. He said it is urgent to value life in its truest form, and our next generation of leaders needs to protect our country.
Amanda Uwaibi, 20, a third-year business administration student from Tallahassee, has chosen to serve her country in the United States Army.
“I respect all soldiers,” Uwaibi said.
Uwaibi was also sitting in class while the World Trade Center was hit.
Uwaibi attended FAMU Developmental Research School, which was locked down that day after news of the attack.
Lt. Col. Jeffrey Williams, a FAMU professor of military science, was at the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001.
His immediate reaction was sadness and grief.
Williams reported 2,998 people, from more than 90 different countries were taken that day by 19 terrorists. Of the 2,998, 125 of those lives were lost at the Pentagon.
Williams realized how real the attack was when he saw the devastation with his own eyes.
Williams reiterated to the crowd of students, faculty and administrators that we should never forget that day, and that life is precious.
“We just want to be the best we can be,” Williams said.
Eight years ago, our country faced an event so tragic, it will never be forgotten. FAMU leaders remember the tragedy as a day of change.
A prayer wreath for the victims of Sept. 11 lies at the eternal flame.