By: Staff Writer Will Rierson
“Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our tallest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundations of America. We will not waver; we will not tire; we will not falter, and we will not fail. Peace and Freedom will prevail,” – President George W. Bush
Members of the UNC College Republicans rose early Sunday morning to plant 2,977 American flags in the Bell Tower lawn, honoring the victims of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.
The students put out the miniature flags on the fifteenth anniversary of the attacks, during the exact time that two hijacked planes were flown into the Twin Towers in New York City that fateful day.
Hayden Vick, chairman of the College Republicans chapter, reflected on the morning.
“This is one the most important things we do every year,” Vick said. “It means a lot more than rallying behind a politician or bringing in a speaker. As we get further along in generations who don’t remember where they were or what happened that day, it becomes more and more important that we do it.”
The flag display was one of many across the country made possible by the 9/11 Never Forget Project, a program of the Young America’s Foundation that sends flags and promotional materials to Young Americans for Freedom and College Republicans chapters.
Chancellor Carol Folt, who had attended a ceremony at the school’s 9/11 UNC alumni memorial garden nearby, stopped at the Bell Tower to speak with the students and thank them for their work.
Six UNC alumni died on 9/11: Karleton Douglas Beye Fyfe ‘92, Mary Lou Hague ‘96, Andrew Marshall King ‘83, Ryan Ashley Kohart ‘98, Dora Menchaca ‘78, and Christopher Quackenbush ‘79.
The flags will be displayed on the Bell Tower lawn until Monday evening. They are visible to students walking to class along sidewalks near the corner of South Road and Stadium Drive, representative of the tragedies this country has faced, but also a reminder that peace and freedom prevails in the USA.