Southeast Missouri State University observed 9/11 this morning with a solemn flag ceremony on the front lawn of Academic Hall.
About 30 members of Southeast’s Show-Me Gold program and Air Force ROTC Detachment 205 were on hand as the flag was lowered to half-staff and the Show Band played the National Anthem and Taps.
Southeast President Carlos Vargas addressed members of the military, thanking them for their service and efforts to honor the fallen.
The ceremony took place amid a backdrop of 2,977 American flags placed in the lawn of Academic Hall by students, staff, community members, and Show-Me Gold and Air Force ROTC Detachment 205 cadets. On Sept. 11, 2001, 2,977 people lost their lives after four planes were hijacked by terrorists. Two of them crashed into the New York World Trade Center and one into the Pentagon. Another crashed at Shanksville, Pa.
Southeast also observed the 16th anniversary of 9/11 with a Heroes Challenge in the University Center. As a way to pay their respects and honor the fallen, the Office of Military & Veterans Services, in coordination with the Fruitland Fire Department, invited students, faculty and staff to suit up in full fireman’s gear and attempt to climb 1,920 steps, the equivalent to the number of stairs firemen climbed during rescue attempts in the World Trade Center.