Nolan O'Bryant

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Flags For the Fallen

On the morning of September 11, 2001, four passenger airlines were hijacked by 19 Al-Qaeda terrorists. Flight 11 crashed into the north tower, Flight 175 crashed into the south tower and American Airlines Flight 77 hit the Pentagon. Flight 93 was overtaken by passengers who sacrificed themselves and crashed the plane into a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. A total of 2,996 lost their lives. This included passengers, first responders and civilians affected in the attack.

UNC Charlotte’s Elijah Acosta thought it was important to remember this tragic day. Acosta coordinated a September 11 tribute memorial on the campus courtyard between the College of Health and Human Services and the Cato College of Education building. 3,000 United States flags were donated to the event by College Republican Treasurer Hannah Whitlow. The memorial was attended by the Political Expo and UNC Charlotte’s five political organizations, including the College Republicans, the College Democrats, Young Americans for Liberty, the Roosevelt Institute and the National Society of Leadership and Success. These groups galvanized around Acosta’s idea in hopes to bring the campus community together by showing support for America on a day of remembrance. A flag was placed in the ground for each known person who died on September 11, 2001.

While the organizations planted the flags, students stopped by in curiosity. Observers were eager to help place flags along the courtyard and within minutes, Acosta’s project was proof that the campus community could come together.

“We hope that this will spread to other campuses,” Acosta stated.

Grace Frederick, Vice President of Young Americans for Liberty, noted that the event focused on bringing the community together, no matter the political preference. “This tragedy did happen and it is something we can’t forget, regardless of where our party stands in the aftermath,” she said.

As America takes a day to remember the vicious attacks on our country, this student-organized memorial displays UNC Charlotte’s tribute to all of those affected by the national crisis.