Student groups host 9/11 memorial on campus

Junior+chemistry+major+Lama+Abu-Amara+gives+words+of+encouragement+to+the+bystanders+on+Sun+Sept+11%2C+2016.+Lama+is+the+president+of+the+Muslim+Student+Association+at+Kent+State.+Kayla+McMillen%2F+Kent+Stater

Junior chemistry major Lama Abu-Amara gives words of encouragement to the bystanders on Sun Sept 11, 2016. Lama is the president of the Muslim Student Association at Kent State. Kayla McMillen/ Kent Stater

Lauren Rathmell

Student groups gathered on Risman Plaza Sunday evening in remembrance of the tragic events of 9/11 that unfolded 15 years ago.

Led by United Christian Ministries, the memorial honored the heroes and lives that were lost on 9/11, while focusing on creating peace in the years to come.

Officer Trisha Knoles of the Kent State Police Department recalled what her day was like on Sept. 11, 2001.

“I was a 911 operator on 9/11, working the afternoon shift, so I was asleep when the first plane hit the tower,” Knoles said.

Knoles recalled the months that followed 9/11 and the way Americans acted after that day.

“The next few months were something that, unfortunately … younger people never got to experience,” Knoles said. “In those months we weren’t white or black, we weren’t male or female, we weren’t refugees, we weren’t any particular type of religion; we were Americans and we were united.”

United Christian Ministries invited members of the Muslim Student Association, PRIDE, Transfusion, the Catholic Student Association and Hillel to participate in the memorial.

“I’m glad we were included in this,” said Lama Abu-Amara, a junior chemistry major and president of the Muslim Student Association. “It’s just important that people know that these kind of violent acts are not tolerated in any religion.”

Christina Carrell, a junior psychology major and president of United Christian Ministries, spoke about the tragedies that continue to happen even after 9/11.

“Violence and tragedy did not end on Sept. 11, 2001,” Carrell said. “Even over the summer while we were away from campus, there was more unspeakable violence. So as we come back together and begin a new year of learning, it is important that we remember and reflect upon those losses.”

Alice Freitas, a sophomore psychology major and president of Trans*Fusion, spoke up for the transgender community and the violence facing those within it. She encouraged those in attendance to get to know each other’s differences in order to create more tolerance.

“This is not about what sets us apart,” Freitas said. “This is about what brings us together, communication brings us together.”

United Christian Ministries lead the group in a moment of silence following the stories and prayers from those in attendance, and encouraged participants to write prayers of peace on Risman Plaza.

The memorial ended with a wish from United Christian Ministries to “go forth in peace, to live as brothers and sisters, as people of faith, as people of hope.”

Lauren Rathmell is a features correspondent, contact her at [email protected]