By Nicole Lafond @GG_Lafond
Students placed almost 3,000 flags in front of Centennial Chapel in remembrance of 9/11 on Monday, the evening before the eleventh anniversary of the attacks.
Olivet’s political science club, Capitol Hill Gang (CHG), organized and hosted the recognition ceremony. This is the first time the group has put on an event in remembrance of 9/11, and the student response was far greater than expected.
“I was absolutely surprised by how well the event went,” said junior Lindsey Tobias, CHG chief of staff. “We’ve never done anything like this. Students were excited and we were encouraged.”
The idea for a 9/11 remembrance event began with CHG member Daniel Going last year. He approached the executive members of the club asking to plan an event for the following year, and took charge planning the event over the summer. Going, now a sophomore, wanted to purchase 2,977 flags in honor of the 2,977 victims for a campus remembrance ceremony, but CHG lacked the funds for a purchase of this extent. Tobias suggested contacting local American Legion for sponsorship.
The Kankakee American Legion was excited and willing to help out CHG with the ceremony, and it was one of the biggest donators.
Just before the ceremony, Tobias, along with other CHG members, recruited students on campus to come to the event.
“Everyone we talked to was excited about the event, even if they couldn’t come,” Tobias said. “We think this event will be huge next year, as this was the guinea pig year.”
At 10 p.m. students met in the quad and Nic Mizeur, CHG chaplain, gave a short sermon. His sermon focused on how 9/11 brought out the best and worst in America.
“Tragedy is a daily reminder that life is fleeting, tragedy happens frequently, but above it all, no matter the circumstances, the love of Christ that is in us must remain,” he said. “I plead with you to follow Jesus’ command in the 15th chapter of John and ‘remain in God’s love,’ loving your neighbor and your enemy and everyone around you, as we remember the tragedy that happened 11 years ago.”
At the end of his sermon, Mizeur prayed and the students walked over to the chapel as a group. They placed the 2,977 flags in the ground outside of the chapel. There were at least 30 students in attendance, according to GlimmerGlass photographer, Ethan Barse.
“It was really spiritual to be together with a group of students, in the dark, placing flags in the ground,” Tobais said. Many students stuck around after the ceremony, stood in groups and prayed. “It was really cool to see how passionate people still are about [9/11],” Tobias said.