By Gerard Flanagan, news writer/photographer/social media, Office of University Communications
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – The 20th anniversary of the deadliest terrorist attack to take place on U.S. soil—Sept. 11—is next month.
To remember the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001 attacks and the bravery displayed by first responders on that day, several events to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the attacks are upcoming.
Campbellsville University and the School of Theology will host a presentation by the Kentucky Heartland Institute on Public Policy (KHIPP) titled “A 20-Year Retrospective: The Effect of 9/11 on U.S. Policy” at 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 7, at The Gheens Recital Hall in the Gosser Fine Arts Center, 210 University Drive, Campbellsville, Ky.
The presentation will include a panel discussion featuring Josiah “Josh” Keats, executive director of the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security, and Dr. Josiah Marineau, associate professor of political science at Campbellsville University.
At 10 a.m., Wednesday, Sept. 8, in Ransdell Chapel, 401 N. Hoskins Ave., Campbellsville, featured speaker the Rev. Lawrence “Larry” Recla STS will speak about his work at Ground Zero in the days and week following the attacks. Recla, a Lutheran pastor who has been the priest-in-charge at St. Francis Episcopal in Bushnell, Fla. since 2012, volunteered his services to the Red Cross and began working at the Ground Zero Temporary Morgue (“T-morgue”) in November 2001. He remained at the site through its closing eight months later.
While working at the morgue, he rendered physical and spiritual aid to recovery personnel, sometimes blessing human remains in the morgue or riding with bodies as they were transported off-site.
Also at Ransdell Chapel at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 9, a 20th anniversary remembrance event will take place. The event, open to the entire Campbellsville/Taylor County community, will include community remembrances, a prayer service and a presentation by Recla.
Dr. John E. Hurtgen, dean of the School of Theology, said it is important to focus on the heroism first responders showed in responding to the attacks.
“What we need to remember most are not the deranged pilots of 9/11,” Hurtgen said, “but the first responders who risked life and limb to bring as many to safety as possible and those like Father Recla who worked in the aftermath and counseled and prayed with people and did whatever was needed to help those left behind.
“We need to remember not only the terrible things, but we need to remember the heroic things that have shaped this nation and made it great.”
Campbellsville University’s Department of Mass Communication also has its own events slated for Saturday, Sept. 11.
At 2 p.m., Sept. 11, a flag dedication honoring all first responders from Campbellsville and Taylor County will take place at the Mass Communication Center, 901 Meader St., Campbellsville.
A plaque recognizing first responders for risking their lives to protect the public will also be unveiled during the event.
Bill Cassell, assistant professor of criminal justice at Campbellsville University, who was the Campbellsville Police Chief when the Sept. 11 attacks happened, will be the guest speaker.
First responders and their spouses will be honored during a banquet at the Badgett Academic Support Center Banquet Hall, 110 University Drive, Campbellsville, at 6:30 p.m., Sept. 11. This is an invitation only event. The Tri-County Car Club is sponsoring the banquet.
Additionally, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., Sept. 11, the Tri-County Car Club, in conjunction with Campbellsville University, will sponsor a special car cruise on Main Street in downtown Campbellsville to honor first responders.
Stan McKinney, chair of the Department of Mass Communication and associate professor of journalism, remembers the Sept. 11 attacks vividly.
“It was very scary,” McKinney said.
The world changed in unprecedented ways that day, according to McKinney.
“It’s definitely very important to remember what happened,” he said. “In many ways, our world changed forever. Before 9/11, I went to the Empire State Building and walked right in. After that, you had to go through metal detectors, and security became tighter.”
McKinney said it’s also important to remember the bravery of first responders who responded to the attacks that fateful day almost 20 years ago.
“They went in, and a whole lot didn’t come out that day,” McKinney said. “They do it in every community across the country, and they deserve to be recognized.”
For more information, contact Hurtgen at firstname.lastname@example.org or (270) 789-5077 or McKinney at email@example.com or (270) 789-5035.
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