The Captain's Log

The Student News Site of Christopher Newport University

The Captain's Log

The Captain's Log

CNU 9/11 Memorial

CNU honors and remembers September 11th in Ceremony at Gaines Theatre
President Kelly speaks at the 9/11 remembrance ceremony in Gaines Theatre, photo by Katherine Zickel
President Kelly speaks at the 9/11 remembrance ceremony in Gaines Theatre, photo by Katherine Zickel

To commemorate the 22nd anniversary of the September 11th attacks, Christopher Newport University hosted a memorial service Monday morning at 10 A.M. Notable figures present included the Master of Ceremonies Captain Morgen S. Tiejens, Newport News Chief of Police Steve Drew, Newport News Fire Chief Wesley Rogers, Newport News Mayor Phillip Jones, and CNU President Bill Kelly.

The ceremony started with a pipe and drum band playing as the aforementioned attendees marched down an aisle, followed by the presentation of Colors by the Newport News Police and Fire Department Honor Guards, as well as the Newport News Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard.

Following this, Newport News native Hope D. Gatling performed a moving rendition of the Star Spangled Banner. 

The chaplain of the NNPD, Dr. Saundra Cherry, delivered the invocation, asking for a moment of silence to remember all those lost in the attacks. 

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“Today God, we shall never forget. We come to honor and remember the attacks on our nation 22 years ago,” Cherry stated.

President Kelly gave welcoming remarks, reflecting on how united the country became on that day, as well as the profound effect 9/11 had on his career in the US Coast Guard.

“I remember how we came together as a nation in the days and weeks following the attacks…we were all on the same team,” said Kelly.

Mayor Jones spoke about how 9/11 had personally affected him, “That day, I definitely knew I wanted to join the military and do my part…9/11 pointed me down the road towards the Marine Corps.” 

In addition, Jones read the proclamation which states that September 11, 2023 will be known as Patriot’s Day in the city of Newport News.

Lieutenant Dominic M. Simmons explained the history of the Tolling of the Bell, and the significance behind it. 

“This signal was a sign of honor and respect for all firefighters who make the ultimate sacrifice, and has become a time honored tradition,” Simmons said.

The timeline of the attacks was read between the Tolling of the Bell, and the Wreaths were brought out on stage to commemorate the tragedy. 

The Newport News Police pipes and drums then played “Amazing Grace,” before the Benediction was given by NNFD Chaplain Tom Snyir. 

“True heroes in the emergency service field and in our military do not get into this field for glory…they chose to because deep down inside, they want to help people,” said Snyir. 

 Snyir’s final remarks asked God for protection for all the first responders and military personnel to be brought home safe to their families. 

Although in recent years, many college students are too young to remember the events of 9/11, the reflections and personal stories shared during the memorial ceremony demonstrate how significantly this tragedy shaped the country.

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Katherine Zickel, Lifestyle Editor
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