After a decade, Amarillo College takes a look back at the events that changed a nation
By Nikki Larkan
On Tuesday September 11, 2001 the lives of Americans were changed forever when thousands lost their lives and the nation came to a halt.
Terrorists hijacked four planes to launch an attack targeting specific landmarks in the United States The Pentagon and the Twin Towers at The
World Trade Center were hit. The fourth plane was overtaken by the passengers and crashed over Pennsylvania.
“It was such an important transformational event for our country and changed the lives of our students in ways they’re not aware of.” said Dr.Russell Lowery-Hart, Vice President of Academic Affairs.
In remembrance Amarillo College has made the theme for this year ‘Reconstructing 9/11.’ This is the first year for AC to have an institutional theme. AC has planned events to create area wide discussions regarding the topic. “I want to know what the conversation will produce,” said Lowery-Hart, “not just for AC but for our community.”
The common reader this year is Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer. 9-year- Oskar Schell lost his father in the Twin Towers. Oskar embarks on a journey to solve the mystery of his father’s death. On November 2 Foer will speak about his novel and upcoming film to AC students and members of faculty.
The Student Government Association is sponsoring an event in honor of the victims of 9/11 to be held on September 12 beginning at 10:15 a.m. These events are scheduled in between classes to allow for all students to be present. On that morning SGA will have flags labeled with the na
mes of victims. There will be a presentation of the American flag and a short concert.
The memorial is an effort to remind people of the effect it had on our nation and what we have done since the event. “Right after 9/11 we became one,” said Anthony Najar, president of SGA. “We’re nowhere near how close we were immediately after 9/11.” Najar hopes the theme will educate people and change their views culturally.
“I think everybody remembers where they were and what they were doing at the time of significant events,” said Dr. Steve Weber, Director of Choral Activities at AC. “There are significant events that’s worth remembering but at the same time we have to use them to move forward in a positive way.”
At 11:45 the AC Concert Choir is going to be performing. The choir will be singing Weber’s arrangement of “America” and Mark Tarallo’s arrangement of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Weber said the arrangements he chose correspond with the emotions of loss, fear, and chaos from the events of and following 9/11.
Weber said he rarely does patriotic music but because of the theme he is putting them into the concerts this year.
“There was so much unity after 9/11 and we’ve lost it,” said Lowery-Hart, “Maybe this yearlong conversation will allow us opportunities to unify.”
Originally published: Wednesday, September 7, 2011