MC

Mississippi College

Students at Mississippi College Remember Terrorist Attacks on September 11

September 11, 2013

Mississippi College students planted hundreds of USA flags, sang “America” and prayed as they remembered the anniversary of the horrific September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

The MC chapter of Young Americans for Freedom organized ceremonies on the Clinton campus Wednesday morning. President Lee Royce, faculty and staff joined the activities that coincided with events nationwide to reflect on the tragedy claiming nearly 3,000 lives on American soil.

Motorists along College Street honked their horns in support as students pushed tiny American flags into the ground across from Aven Hall.

“I was in a third grade English class in Tampa, Florida and my dad was stationed at Central Command at McDill Air Force base” when airliners struck the Twin Towers in New York City and Pentagon in Washington, said MC junior Andrew Hornsby, 20, of Huntsville, Alabama. “My mom picked me up at school and cried the whole way home.”

Hornsby is a leader with Young Americans for Freedom that is sponsoring similar “9/11: Never Forget Project” activities across the nation.

His father, Lt. Colonel Albert Bryan Hornsby, is now retired from the Air Force. In the weeks following the terrorist attacks that included an airliner with hijackers and passengers crashing in rural Pennsylvania, Andrew seldom saw his dad who was busy with post 9/11 duties.

“This (9/11) is what made me want to join the Army,” said Mississippi College student Brooke Viskoski, 19, of West Palm Beach, Florida, as she stood near the rows of American flags. The sophomore is among a dozen MC students in the university’s ROTC ranks. “People are not forgetting it.”

An Army ROTC instructor at MC, Jonathan Maruszak was a 9th grader at Brandon High when the attacks occurred in 2001. “It was a big shock. I didn’t know what was going on,” he said, recalling he was in a computer lab class at the time a dozen years ago. The 28-year-old said his parents encouraged him to join the Air Guard and he signed up.

Mississippi College student Amelia Breitling, who chairs the university’s campus chapter of Young Americans for Freedom, was happy to see President Royce plus a number of international students take part in Wednesday’s ceremonies. The 20-year-old from Pensacola, Florida said she’s concerned that many younger Americans are starting to forget about the meaning of the 9/11 anniversary.

A future elementary school teacher, Amelia recently tutored an 11-year-old girl and talked to her about the tragedy in 2001. But her student didn’t have a clue. “There’s a generation growing up that doesn’t know about it.”

For more information about the “9/11: Never Forget Project” go to www.yaf.org.

Photo: Mississippi College students, faculty and staff planted USA flags, prayed and sang "America'' as they remembered the 9/11 tragedy that claimed nearly 3,000 lives on American soil. The MC chapter of the Young Americans for Freedom organized the event on the Clinton campus Wednesday morning.