On September 11, 2017, Queens College held a memorial in honor of those who lost their lives 16 years ago during the country’s deadliest terrorist attack. Reflection on the horrific day deeply touched attendees of the campus’ memorial.
This year, the eerie mood was complemented by the overcast sky and humid air. Throughout the morning, the crowd slowly grew with students and staff members. Leaveena Singh, a sophomore studying fitness and nutrition exercise, emphasized the importance of continuing to acknowledge the day’s horrific event: “The day is viewed by students as important as Independence Day. We never stop celebrating Independence Day, we shouldn’t stop remembering this important day in history. Even those of us who weren’t born or of a mature age connect to the events that happened sixteen years ago.”
Judy Krinitz, the associate director of student life, opened the memorial introducing Dr. Ali Mermer, chaplain of the Queens College MSA, who began by blessing the attendees.
Dr. Mermer focused on the responsibility Americans have today to improve the country for the sake and memory of those who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks. “When we lift our voices in hope and shared brotherhood, nothing can break our spirits,” Dr. Mermer stated.
Felix Matos Rodriguez, president of Queens College continued to build on Dr. Mermer’s words of inspiration and suggested that the day’s reflection of the attacks on this city “lead to action and change and improvement.” Furthermore, President Rodriguez reflected on the college’s 80th anniversary and its ability to have served as a safe space for students over the course of its nearly-century long standing, stating, “Universities are a space of hope. 80 years ago New Yorkers needed a new space of hope – forming Queens College.” He emphasized that students should utilize the campus as a place of hope to the betterment of local communities, city, state, and country.
The concluding speakers included NYC’s 24th district council member, Rory Lancman, and Japneet Singh, president of Student Association, who admitted that the annual ceremony “always gives [him] the same goosebumps and emotions.”
The ceremony concluded with “America the Beautiful” performed by students from the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College.