Plattsburgh State is holding the 15-year 9/11 Memorial Service for the community Sept. 9 at noon at Hawkins Pond.
Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK) has been hosting the memorial service for 14 years. ODK’s President Breanna Syslo plans to speak at the this year’s memorial service as well as Student Association President Michael Kimmer.
“I want to share my message of hope. I want my speech to remind people the memories of the lives lost will forever live on through their loved ones,” Kimmer said.
This will be Kimmer’s first time speaking to the community and he is excited to share his message. Kimmer hopes once the service concludes, people will have more hope and less fear.
For ODK’s Faculty Advisor Larry Allen, this will be his first time participating in the memorial service.
“I have been learning about the experiences some of the faculty members have had in past years services.” Allen said in preparation of the upcoming 15-year Memorial Service.
He knows people coming to the service will be there to either reflect on what has happened or heal in order to move past this tragic event.
“It’s a great way for people to come together to support and heal together during this time,” Allen said.
The Plattsburgh State Choir is performing during the service. The choir has sung at the 9/11 Memorial Service for 14 years. The members want to share their message of hope through song. Two of the songs the choir will be singing are the National Anthem and God Bless America.
Gospel Choir Music Director Dexter Criss chooses the songs based on the message being conveyed. On the 10-year anniversary, Criss chose songs of starting over. He wanted people to know it’s acceptable to start living again.
“These generations of students were so young when the tragedy occurred, so they don’t remember what they witnessed, if they witnessed anything at all.” Criss said of this year’s ceremony, “We can use this time as more of a teaching perspective of what can happen.”
Gospel Choir member Kasean Joseph believes people can cope through music.
“Music has a way of healing.” says Joseph, “When words are not enough, music has a way of saying what’s not said.”
Choir Member Barbara Simmons-Criss is proud SUNY Plattsburgh continues to honor the lives lost.
“It is important to know about what happened in the past because it strengthened our future,” Simmons-Criss said.
When it comes to the songs, Simmons-Criss wants people to feel whatever emotion overcomes them in that moment. She recognizes not everyone will feel the same emotions during some songs.
“We are still one united nation and we are still going strong.” Joseph said, “This won’t be the end of us.”
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