Alexandra Evans, Copy Editor
Utica College EMS hosted an event on Sept. 10 and planted flags outside of Strebel Student Center in remembrance of those who risked and lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001.
The event began with students and faculty gathered together inside Strebel to hear from UC EMS Chief Anthony Scalise, then moved outside as American flags were planted in the lawn to resemble the Twin Towers that were struck during the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
President Laura Casamento attended the event, later saying in a campus-wide email that the event was inspiring. Casamento explained that everyone has a different way of expressing gratitude toward first responders, active military, veterans and volunteers, but is proud of the way UC students chose to show solidarity with those who have suffered from 9/11.
“Perhaps the most moving memorials are those that speak to our common humanity and bring us together as a community and nation,” Casamento wrote. “I am very proud that our students took the opportunity of this solemn observance to celebrate what is best in all of us.”
Director of Emergency Management Shad Crowe, remembers the day vividly.
“It seems like yesterday,” Crowe said. “I was working at the State Police Academy. At the time, I had just finished my fifth year as a New York State Trooper, and I was teaching defensive tactics at the Academy to new recruits, and my lead instructor advised me that a plane had struck the World Trade Center.”
Crowe immediately went in search of a television to look at the news to see for himself what was happening.
“As I walked into the office, the second plane struck the second tower,” Crowe said.
Crowe believes the terrorist attack changed a lot of things for a lot of people, all in a short period of time. But professionals like him were in the business of protecting those who needed help, and they knew they had a very important job to do. Their main priority was to help ensure that everyone felt safe and secure.
“Everybody became a little more heightened and a little more, unfortunately, frightened,” Crowe said.
To Crowe, the devastating events that took place, in a way, united people.
“As a nation, we responded, I think as one people,” Crowe said. “Not as any factions, just as one people responding.”
Senior Garrett Bortiatynski is an active member of UC EMS and thinks regularly about the events that took place on 9/11.
“I couldn’t imagine the stress or fear that must’ve been running through them,” Bortiatynski said. “If I had been there, I think it would’ve taken a lot to overcome the paralyzing unknown. It must’ve been terrifying, having to look past all the chaos and distress to find those who needed help.”
Bortiatynski also had some kind words to express to the families of first responders, and to the first responders themselves.
“It took a lot of bravery, strength and will to get through that day,” Bortiatynski said. “Everyone involved in one way or another should be really proud of themselves. No one will ever forget that day. Their strength in dealing with the aftermath is unimaginable. To deal with that every day for a long time, until the pain faded; the pain never really goes away. I just want to say thank you, we appreciate you.”