Livingstone remembers 9-11

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 9, 2011

By Shavonne Potts
SALISBURY — Livingstone College students and faculty gathered on the front lawn of the campus Friday to remember the lives lost in the 2001 terrorist attacks.
The college held its 4th annual 9/11 remembrance ceremony.
“We don’t want people to forget,” said Maxine Bryan, president of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, which organized the event.
Salisbury Fire Department Battalion Chief David Morris recalled the days after the attacks.
“Let us not forget September the 12th, 13th and 14th, the days after Sept. 11. The days after were filled with prayer, unity, determination — a common goal and brotherly love between all. These are the days that we should never forget,” he said.
Livingstone College Police Chief Gloria Blaire told the students about the emergency personnel who were going in to help people out of the World Trade Center buildings with no regard for their own safety. They faced the unexpected, Blaire said. “Sometimes they have a thankless job and oftentimes we’re not remembered until we are doing events such as this. But every day, that’s what we face,” she said.
Blaire issued a challenge to students: If they see a first responder, she said, thank them for their service.
The Rev. Clarence Jackson IV, student body president, spoke to those assembled about how many lives were changed and how Americans showed patriotism.
“Ten years ago, a few folks decided to birth disorder into America, but much to their dismay and their chagrin, Americans decided that we would rally behind the flag and uphold the banner that suggests united we stand, that together we stand,” Jackson said.
A camera in hand, yearbook editor Jeremy Ratcliff captured images of the ceremony.
“I think it’s important because a lot of lives were lost,” he said.
The ceremony is a sign that the college and the community care about the students, many from the Washington, D.C. and New York areas, Ratcliff said.
“It’s about unity,” said Livingstone student Daniel Williams, who also attended last year’s ceremony.
He said attendance also shows support for those affected.
“We are saying, ‘We are here for you,’ ” he said.
There were fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers and other family members people lost that day, Williams said.
“My heart goes out to the children. We know they (family) can’t be replaced, but we pray and hope that we can give something to them,” he said.
This day should remind people to be giving, whether that means clothes or food to others, Williams said.
The ceremony is about “showing a heart of compassion and about giving of yourself. It’s not about you, it’s about the community,” he said.
Dr. Jacqueline Gray, vice president of student affairs, was working at Atlanta Metropolitan College 10 years ago.
Gray was inside a post office when she heard about the attacks. She and others watched the news reports inside the post office.
“I rushed to work,” she said, so she could be with the students.
Many students grieved that day, those who were directly affected and those who didn’t know anyone who’d died in the attacks, Gray said.
“We were all in shock, and we were that way for many days,” she said.
Students must continue to remember so they “understand the significance of such a tragedy,” Gray said.
She hopes ceremonies like the one held by the college Friday “influences students to volunteer more, give of themselves and after they’ve gone from here to become productive citizens.”
At the end of the ceremony, students released balloons holding notes and prayers for the families who lost someone on Sept. 11, 2001.
Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.