Students, University commemorate 9/11

Kate Carrubba

The seventh anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks was observed around campus last Thursday.

College Republicans planted 2,977 American flags on Sheehan Beach in memory of each victim of the attacks. They also held a memorial service at 8:46 a.m. to commemorate when the first plane hit.

The service was led by Vice President of Student Life Rev. John Stack, O.S.A., at the site of the memorial and was attended by around 30 people. Students, faculty and staff were all invited to attend the service as well as visit the memorial throughout the day.

The memorial was also shown on the evening news by local ABC, CBS and NBC affiliates.

Reactions were overwhelmingly positive. College Republicans Vice President sophomore Anthony Pontarelli described a staff member who was moved to tears by the sight of the display. Other students and University members stopped by and observed throughout the day.

The Sheehan Beach memorial was sponsored by the Young America’s Foundation. College Republicans approached the foundation about its plans.

The early morning service was attended by foundation members Joe and Shirley Ochman.

This was the first year College Republicans did a special 9/11 observance, but Pontarelli said the group is planning on doing the same memorial next year.

Other memorials were scattered throughout campus. The RAs in Sheehan Hall organized an interdenominational and interfaith service, which was held in the basement and featured readings from various holy books as well as a moment of silence.

The St. Thomas of Villanova Church rang bells at the moments of impact, and all were invited to observe a moment of silence at 10:29 a.m. in honor of the victims. In the evening, a Mass was celebrated in Corr Chapel in memory of Villanova alumni who died on 9/11.

The names of the deceased Villanova alumni were read at all evening Masses on Sept. 7. Also, biographies and photos of the Villanova alumni who died were displayed near the 9/11 memorial window in Corr Chapel from Sept. 8-15.

Pontarelli and other members of College Republicans believe that the legacy left by the terrorist attacks is still an important issue in the upcoming election.

“It’s always on the minds of the American people,” said sophomore Eric Maleczkowicz, a member of the College Republicans executive board and debate chair.

To that end, the College Republicans are working with the College Democrats on a debate.

It will highlight the ideas of both parties for Sept. 24 at 7:30 p.m. in the West Lounge of Dougherty Hall.

Pontarelli and Maleczkowicz are also working to get as many people registered to vote as possible. Because Pennsylvania is a swing state in the upcoming presidential election, Villanova students could have a major impact.

They want voters to be informed about all of the issues pertinent in the election, not just terrorism.