United we will ‘never forget’

“As we stand here today, a decade after the September eleven attacks, I think of three words: change, continuity and resiliency,” City Manager Kevin Brunner said.

Students, faculty and community members gathered at noon on Monday, Sept. 11, to remember the lives lost on the tragic morning ten years ago.

UW-Whitewater College Republicans hosted a memorial on the University Center north mall in which members of both the city and campus police departments and the Whitewater Fire Department attended.

Whitewater Student Government President Patrick Johnson began the ceremony by showing his pride in America.

“Individuals that didn’t even know each other shared a helping hand that day,” Johnson said. “I think that really says something about our nation.”

The memorial began with a Presentation of the Colors by the UWW Army ROTC.

Interim Chief of Police Lisa Otterbacher shared a timeline of the events which occurred on Sept. 11, 2001.

With heads bowed and memories flashing through many of their minds, the crowd listened intently to the happenings that left not only the United States, but people around the entire world in shock.

“I think this was a really good idea,” senior Samantha Uelmen said. “The memorial was a really good way for people to come together finally and just deal with the things that happened that day.”

Formal Marine Corporal Nicholas Peters remembers waking up for barracks duty in southern California and finding out one of the towers of the World Trade Center had fallen.

Peters, a UWW veteran, said they were tasked with the duty of guarding other possible targets.

“Whether it be the police, fire members, EMS or military, our purpose that day was to save lives. Protect the people,” Peters said.

Chancellor Richard Telfer added to the memorial by expressing his hopefulness of the United States emerging and strengthening from the attacks.

“It is impossible not to feel the shock of the tragedy even ten years later,” Telfer said. “But we should recognize the triumph that will emerge and has emerged since those attacks.”

Telfer went on to speak about the increased security and patriotism that the country has seen in the last decade.

He then referenced Whitewater by raising awareness to all of the military personnel, police squad members, fire department volunteers and EMT rescue squad members who were at the memorial.

“We must honor the commitments of the military services regardless of your personal beliefs of the ongoing wars,” Telfer said.

To end the memorial, Scott Coenen, chairman of the UWW College Republicans, told the crowd what they can do now, a decade later, to keep the memories of the innocent lives taken that day alive.

“Remember. Honor. And never let the lives of those lost be forgotten,” Coenen said.

Concluding the memorial, everybody was invited to pick the flags out of the ground to help remember each of the lives that were taken on Sept. 11.

The memorial held 2,977 flags, one for each of the innocent Americans that died.Students, faculty, staff and community members were welcome to keep the flags.

Succeeding the memorial, Chancellor Richard Telfer, City Manager Kevin Brunner, Interim Chief of Police Lisa Otterbacher, UWW Veteran Nicholas Peters, WSG President Patrick Johnson and UWW College Republican Chairman Scott Coenen were available for questions or comments regarding the memorial or the Sept. 11 attacks in general.