York College chapel was a somber affair today, as YC students and the history department presented on the events of September 11, 2001.
Christi Lones, assistant professor of history, shared a chronology of events from September 11, starting with the take off of American Airlines Flight 11 bound for Los Angeles, and ending with the collapse of tower 7 of the World Trade Center complex. Her recitation of the facts, dates, and numbers was made more powerful by the images on the screen—towers enveloped in black smoke, people crying and holding each other, soot and ash covered survivors escaping the rubble.
Following the facts came the names. Twenty-seven students in the audience each read aloud a page of names in unison—names of the 2,977 that died in the attacks on September 11. The voices filled the room with noise, as each victim was remembered one more time. After the final names were read, a heavy silence fell over the audience, a tribute to the thousands of people who were silenced that day.
The program continued with the audience singing “God Bless America.” While the song is sometimes boisterous and filled with patriotic pride, the York College assembly sang quietly, reflectively.
Dr. Shane Mountjoy, vice president for student development, then recognized the six honored guests present at chapel, all in uniforms: police officers, firefighters, and other first responders. The audience gave them a standing ovation, thanking them for their service and sacrifice.
The closing prayer was led by State Trooper Noah McNeese ’99. McNeese asked God to comfort those who are still in mourning for the loss of loved ones from the September 11 attacks, as well as bless and protect those who make a personal sacrifice daily in the line of duty.
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