Opinion Submission: A call for unity

| President of Washington University College Republicans
9/11 memorial flags wave on Mudd Field.Holden Hindes | Student Life

American flags line Mudd Field for a 9/11 commemoration in 2014.

Dear Campus Community,

Since 2013, the Washington University College Republicans have planted American flags to honor the 2,977 men and women who perished in the 9/11 attacks. However, we recognize that these acts of terror impacted every American and immigrant with ties to this land. For this reason, the onus is on every member of our campus community to join us in remembering all 2,977 of these victims.

As a community, we must not forget to honor those who died in New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia on 9/11, and others who succumbed to injuries afterward. We must remember Americans like 11-year-old Bernard Brown, who was on the plane that plunged into the Pentagon. We must remember the immigrants from over 90 nations, who spent their final moments stuffed in broken elevators and packed stairwells. And how could we ever forget the brave souls who rushed into the Twin Towers as victims rushed out, laying down their lives to save men and women they did not even know? Peers, professors, and support staff: we have an obligation to unite to remember and honor these victims.

However, we recognize that some may worry that unity is impossible in these divisive times. We must also remember that the United States was united on 9/11. A contentious election rattled the American people in 2000, but those terrible attacks mended the divide. People from every corner of the country flocked to Lower Manhattan to assist with New York’s recovery effort, and Democrats and Republicans prayed for our nation to heal. Even villagers from Iran, whose country was and is an adversary of the United States, held a candlelight vigil for the 2,977. As such, there is no reason we cannot set aside partisan differences and mourn a tragedy we all share. 

Let us gather Saturday on Mudd Field at 7:14 a.m., which is when those terrible acts of terror began on 9/11. After a moment of silence for every victim, we will plant a flag for every one. Then, on Sunday, September 11, the memorial will remind our community to remember these individuals. We will remove the flags on Monday at 6:00 p.m. Courtesy of generous members of our community, we will provide volunteers with food and drink.

We look forward to joining you in remembering all who died because of those awful attacks on September 11, 2001. As Sunday will mark a solemn day for our entire community, we must mourn for and remember 9/11 victims together. 

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