Saturday, May 25, 2024

College commemorates 9/11 attacks

Nicole Malatino, president of Omicron Delta Kappa, and Robert Henn, the honor society’s vice president, commemorate 9/11 at Hawkins Pond.

By Hayden Sadler

President and Vice President of  the honor society Omicron Delta Kappa, Nicole Malatino Robert Henn appeared at Hawkins Pond on Monday, Sept. 11 to commemorate the attacks on the World Trade Center 22 years prior. 

With Hawkins Pond in the backdrop, Malatino introduced the memorial with a moment of silence in memory of the victims, some of whom were alumni of SUNY Plattsburgh. Following the silence, Malatino introduced the vice president to speak.

“Pain reminds us that we are human. The tragedy changes the way we go about being human,” Henn said before citing changes to the world that had occurred after the attacks and before many students at Plattsburgh can remember. 

Addressing that many students have no memory of the event, Henn added, “Although many in my generation did not watch the towers fall. We did witness the Freedom Tower rise.”

Allison Heard, Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion spoke next and emphasized – as Henn did prior – the importance of unity in times of trouble. 

Citing the freedom in this country to use pronouns, Heard said, “If we used a pronoun for 9/11, we would use we.” 

History is for everyone to learn from, and as Heard added, “We can use our ‘he-story’, our ‘she-story’, our ‘we-story’ to remember.”  

Students and faculty alike listened as Malatino returned to announce that the Plattsburgh State Art Museum had acquired an art piece on loan featuring wreckage from the attacks. The piece by Noah Savett titled Tempered by Memory will be on display in AuSable Hall.

Malatino thanked everyone for joining and introduced Emily Powers, music director of the Minor Adjustments. The ceremony was closed by Powers taking lead as onlookers joined her to sing the Star-Spangled Banner. 

Twenty-two years later, commemorations of the deadly attacks inflicted upon New York City serve to unite people of all backgrounds under a shared trauma that affected Americans, regardless of who they were. Steve Mathews, dean of students at SUNY Plattsburgh, mentioned Robert Henn’s speech: 

“As Robert shared, he doesn’t remember the towers falling but what went up in their place.” 

Like the Freedom tower, known now as the One World Trade center, the shared history that gathered students and faculty alike around Hawkins pond this past Monday can serve to remind everyone to remember the attacks that occurred in 2001. 


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