A decade after the tragic events of September 11th, RSC performing arts theater presented “Remembering 9/11”.
From left to right. Air Traffic Division Manager Brian Harmelink, Retired Captain Gary Foster, Colonel Mike Mahon, Retired Colonel Patrick Sheets, Retired Brigadier General Ben Robinson, and Retired Lieutenant General Chuck Johnson recount their personal experiences of September 11th, 2001 at the Rose State “Remembering 9/11” event. Photo by Tracie Bullen
A decade after the tragic events of September 11th, RSC performing arts theater presented “Remembering 9/11”. This event was held Sep. 9, 2011 and allowed people a chance to take a look back on that day and acknowledge the brave people who responded to the attack.
The event was opened with the National Anthem sung by Jennifer Hogan. Followed by Joe Williams, FBI Chaplain, who read the poem titled “We’re Still Standing” and gave recognition to the 9-11 first responders.
Oklahoma State Gov. Mary Fallin gave some opening remarks, recounting her 9-11 story and how we will always remember that September day.
“Ceremonies like this are important, because we should never forget the tragedy that occurred. The response, the powerful response of our nation, after 9-11.
“In our nation we believe in community. We believe in protecting things not destroying things. We believe in protecting communities not destroying communities. We value life. We value our freedom.
“We as a nation pulled together in a tremendous time of tragedy; in a tremendous time of need and uncertainty to fight for our nation. To stand up for the things that have made America great; and that is what happened that day.” Fallin said.
Following the governor, retired Brig. Gen. David Wagie gave recognition to Oklahoma’s Contribution on 9-11, and then held a panel of guest that told how Tinker Air Force Base and the FAA responded and defended the country on the awful day and the days following.
The panel included;
• Air Traffic Division Manager Brian Harmelink, Federal Aviation Administration
• Retired U.S. Navy Capt. Gary Foster
• Col. Mike Mahon
• Retired Col. Patrick Sheets
• Retired Brig. Gen. Ben Robinson
• Retired Lt. Gen. Chuck Johnson,
The panel was asked about how they were notified about the attack on 9-11 and what actions they immediately took upon learning of the event; this included a small slideshow and discussion on how they concluded operations and their personal stories during the days and weeks following 9-11.
The remembrance concluded with a small Q&A from the panel and audience, Maj. Gen. David Gillett, Commander, Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center gave the closing remarks. Services ended with Jennifer Hogan returning once more to sing “God Bless America.”
The “Remembering 9/11” event paid tribute and offered a time of reflection back to that fateful day that changed America.
In addition to the “Remembering 9/11” event, Rose State College has yet to include a permanent campus memorial to 9/11; such as planting a memorial tree or putting up statue honoring the victims, similar to the Oklahoma City Bombing memorial near the LRC. A permanent memorial would be something the campus could do to show that we will never forget 9/11.