|SOUTHEASTERN PLANS SEPT. 11 REMEMBRANCE CEREMONY
HAMMOND -- Southeastern Louisiana University will join the world in remembering the September 11, 2001 attack on America with a ceremony at noon on the anniversary date.
The approximately 30-minute ceremony, sponsored by Gamma Beta Phi service and honor society, the Student Government Association and the Campus Activities Board, will take place in the War Memorial Student Union Park, said Jackie Dale Thomas, director of Leadership Development/Student Activities.
Thomas said the brief ceremony, which is open to the public, will include a roll call of Southeastern students, faculty, staff and alumni who have been called to military service since the terrorist attack.
Thomas said Southeastern students hope to create a permanent September 11 memorial on campus in the form of a bell.
“Bells have played a part in many of the September 11 remembrances over the last year,” she said. “Church bells have been rung throughout the country; fire bells have sounded for the fallen firefighters, a single ringing of the New York Stock Exchange’s trading bell was one of the events marking the sixth month anniversary. We thought a bell would make a fitting memorial on our campus.”
Thomas said student organizations are planning a year-long fundraiser for the memorial bell. Meanwhile, a handbell will be rung five times during the campus ceremony. “Four rings will be for the areas hit and the victims – the 2,823 people in the World Trade Center’s twin towers, the 189 people at the Pentagon and the 44 passengers on the fourth jet that crashed in Pennsylvania,” Thomas said.
“The fifth ring,” she said, “will be for the members of the Southeastern family who have been called into service during the past year.”
Thomas said two faculty members, both reserve military officers and chaplains, are among that number. Army National Guard Major Stephen Sanders, an assistant professor in Sims Memorial Library, is stationed in Afghanistan. Mathematics professor Kenneth Brown, a captain with the U.S. Air Force Reserves 926 Fighter Wing, was activated during Operation Joint Forge in France last July and has served periodically at his home base in Belle Chase.
Three Southeastern students, all in the Army National Guard, are also serving in Afghanistan – Pvt. Brad Bergeron and Sgt. Jerry "Jay" Rodriguez, both of Hammond, and 2nd Lt. Tracy Lynwood Spann of Prairieville. Thomas said she has been told that a fourth student, Jarrod Hardison, a Marine, will be in Kuwait by December.
“We know there are more of our faculty, staff, students and alumni who are serving our country,” Thomas said. “We’re encouraging everyone to send us their names, so we can include them in the remembrance roll call.”
Names of Southeastern service men and women, along with their hometown, branch of service and service location, can be submitted to the Leadership Development/Student Activities office, room 110 in the War Memorial Student, Thomas said. The office can be contacted by telephone at 985-549-2233, fax at 985-549-3804, or e-mail at email@example.com. Names will be accepted through Tuesday, September 10.