Elon holds morning ceremony to mark 9/11
A solemn flag-lowering ceremony marked the beginning of Elon’s Sept. 11 observances.
About 75 members of the community gathered at Scott Plaza on Elon’s historic quad at 8:46 a.m., the time when the first plane struck the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. President Leo M. Lambert recalled that day, when the campus community was gathered in the same spot for a special College Coffee event to celebrate the opening of Rhodes Stadium.
“It is a moment in time that I certainly will never forget,” Lambert said, recalling that day which started out with a beautiful blue sky. "Our world was turned upside down, much like it was for every other citizen in this country and in the world."
Lambert and Associate Chaplain Phil Smith placed a wreath at Elon’s flag poles and Smith led those gathered in prayer. Here is an excerpt from his prayer:
“We gather, O God, at this time and on this day to remember a dark moment in our history; a day when peace did not prevail, a day when terror visited us and left a large gaping hole in the fabric of our society and which spawned chaos in our world. We remember the tremendous loss of life on that day … As we reflect on these past ten years, may our eyes be opened to see what we have learned about ourselves and our enemies, to see how we as individuals and as a people can work to heal that which has fractured us. Our hope and our prayer this morning is that we might find somewhere deep inside ourselves, the resolve to work to restore your ideal in the world.”
As ROTC students from Elon lowered the North Carolina flag, the Elon University flag, and finally the American flag, Stephen Futrell, associate professor of music, played taps. The gathering concluded with the Alamance building bell tolling 115 times, symbolizing the number of nations that lost citizens in the 9/11 attacks.