Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

"Remembering the fallen six years later"

A surprisingly nice write-up of the WSU College Republicans' 9/11 Never Forget Project appears in today's Daily Evergreen. I hope the CRs will post more details and pictures later. Good job, guys!!
Andrew Chapin stood looking out over a sea of almost 3,000 American flags waving in the early morning breeze Tuesday.

As the Bryan Hall clock tower sent out a solemn reminder of Sept. 11., ringing out against the quiet morning, Chaplin stood bowing his head to remember the fallen.

“It’s overwhelming. It’s definitely a day of loss,” said Chapin, a Campus Crusade for Christ staff member. “The flags show the character of the American people and the incredible sacrifice we made.” Chapin was on campus to provide support for those shaken by the sixth anniversary of Sept. 11.

The College Republicans hosted a 9/11 Never Forget Project, which was sponsored by the Young America Foundation. The same project also took place at more than 150 schools nationwide.

The 2,977 American flags that lined Veterans’ Walk alongside the Murrow Center represented each person that lost their life on Sept. 11, 2001.

The Young America’s Foundation created the project after becoming disgruntled by the lack of recognition for Sept. 11 from some universities, according to its website. The foundation states it is “the principal outreach organization of the Conservative Movement.” Brian Alkema, the political action and events coordinator for the College Republicans, said the project was something they had been planning since this summer.

“Our club believes in remembering the fallen,” he said. “It’s something that everyone can relate to because it wasn’t just soldiers that lost their lives. It could have been anyone’s parent.” The College Republicans received some materials from the Young America’s Foundation but for the most part, they coordinated the project on their own, Alkema said. The flags were expensive but well worth it.

“It’s important to stand up for what you believe in,” he said.

Reminders of Sept. 11 were not limited to just Veterans’ Walk. Posters and yard signs proclaiming “9/11 Never Forget” dotted the campus and College Republicans handed out buttons to passersby in hopes that they would spread the message.

Member Isaiah Bryant, a senior environmental resources and management major, said the club began setting up at midnight and didn’t finish until three in the morning.

“I’m tired but this is one day I will never forget,” Bryant said.

Tuesday hit home for Bryant because he returned less than a year ago from Baghdad, where he served with the U.S. Army.

Other students appeared pensive as they tromped past the flags on their way to class.

“It’s an intense day,” said Sam Rowley, a senior communication major. “It’s one of those things where everyone knows exactly where they were and what they were doing.” Bryant said some students acted with apathy as they walked past the sea of red, white and blue while others introduced themselves and congratulated the club on a job well-done.

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