Tuesday night, members of the Geneseo community gathered outside the Integrated Science Center on the College Green to commemorate the sixth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.
This year's tribute was organized by senior Kathleen Quinlan; a senior resident advisor for Niagara Hall; junior Ryan Cooley, a senior resident advisor for Livingston Hall; senior Colleen Bennett, a resident assistant for the Saratoga Townhouses; Ben Delozier, residence director of Livingston Hall; and other resident assistants throughout campus.
The service began with the singing of the national anthem by senior Jamie Sacca, a member of Hips 'n Harmony, followed by a bagpipe performance by junior Ashley Caster. Hips 'n Harmony then took the stage to sing "In My Life" as students perused memorial bags decorated by on-campus residents and took time to honor the heroes and victims of the day. The memorial also offered students the opportunity to donate funds to the families of victims.
"This is something that we hope will become an annual tradition at Geneseo," Quinlan said. "We started planning about two weeks ago with the intention of keeping it simple and small. We wanted to offer it as a moment where students can reflect and remember the tragic events of this day."
The third annual student-run memorial was originally organized by Geneseo alumni Nick Mintrani and Sean Cogliardi. Mintrani, a Long Island native, recognized the importance of the event and its relevance to the Geneseo community, where many students hail from downstate New York and were "vividly impacted by the events of that day," according to Deleozier.
"This is an event that was started in response to their desire to see the college sponsor an event to recognize the events of Sept. 11 and the impact they left on so many lives and on this campus," Delozier said. "The heart of the event is not only as a memorial to the events of Sept. 11 but also as a gathering of the campus community as a support to one another."
"I thought the service was really great," said sophomore Lauren Babcock. "It was simple and gave everyone a chance to pay their respects to the people who lost their lives that day. I didn't attend the service last year, but this is something I'll definitely attend in my next couple of years here."
"We were striving to put together something that was simple that the students could attend to pay their respects," Cooley said. "It was a really amazing turnout, especially considering the fact that it's been six years since the event."
In addition to the evening vigil, Geneseo took time to memorialize the anniversary by tolling the College Carillon at 9:03 a.m. in remembrance of the four alumni who lost their lives in the attacks on the World Trade Center.
"I am very happy to see others carrying on this tradition, even after those who started it have graduated," Delozier said. "Each year, there is always a significant number of students who come for the vigil, which tells me that it's an event that is still of deep importance to the students here at Geneseo."
"I'm so glad that so many people showed up for the memorial," Quinlan said. "It's nice to know that our memories haven't dulled."