To commemorate the 13th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept.11, 2001, UR’s Naval Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (NROTC) took to the Eastman Quad for a vigil and other activities on Tuesday, Sept. 11.

The day began with a 9/11 Memorial Run. According to sophomore Midshipman Jacob Shawler, the race was great for motivation as well as team building.

“You don’t just run together, but you have someone out there singing too, and keeping everyone on step,” Shawler said. “Everyone was involved, and it was for teamwork.”

Shawler noted that along with team building, the run was also a great way to honor those who lost their lives in the 9/11 attacks. “That was our way of honoring them and remembering them,” he said.

In addition to the run, a vigil was held on the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) campus. Unlike other vigils, this one involved Air Force and Army cadets along with the members of NROTC. Those holding the vigil saluted during the times of day the airplanes hit 13 years ago. According to Shawler, the RIT vigil was unique because of the collaboration between different military branches.

NROTC also held a vigil in the Eastman Quad – some RIT students were present as well. Groups of three took turns standing at parade rest with the American flag in the center of the quad as a reminder to the University community of the sacrifices made that day.

Shawler spoke of the vigil and those who came in support.

“There was a Vietnam vet. He had his hat on and he just happens to walk by, so he saluted us, and he stood for well over an hour with our vigil, just off to the side. We were all in parade rest for the whole shift, and he stood there in parade rest for over an hour. It was really inspiring for him to just stop in and do that, and pay his respect.”

Shawler explained that remembering the 9/11 attacks is important not only for the University community and the greater Rochester community, but also for the whole nation as a way of acknowledging the U.S.’s vulnerability. “There is this conception that we can’t be attacked on our home soil because we are the hegemonic power, but it’s not true.”

NROTC’s actions, according to Shawler, are a way to honor the lives lost and the American spirit of those who helped others after the attacks.

“Many Americans, regardless of their jobs, stepped up, and I think that that serves to remind America what we are made of,” Shawler said. “It’s the spirit of America right there. We don’t quit.”

Cieri is a member of 

the class of 2017.

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