Memories of the devastating events of Sept. 11, 2001, are ingrained in the minds of many members of the college community.
“I remember coming home and seeing the towers on fire and I thought, ‘Why? Why would someone want to do this to my country?’” said freshman Lucas Signer.
Every year since the attacks, Hudson Valley remembers those who perished in the attacks by setting up a memorial service around the flagpole. Students and staff are invited to give their respects to the victims and tell their stories and experiences of that day.
This year’s memorial event was put on by Director of Student Life Louis Coplin. A remembrance video was set up in the theater for people to stop by and watch, as well as setting up a few tables with banners for people to sign and write their thoughts on.
The memorial hits home for many people on campus, since we are only a few hours from the site. On Sept. 13, 2001, current Director of Public Safety Fred Aliberti, who was then working for the Albany Police Department, was called down to search for local residents. “You had hundreds and thousands of people looking for their family members and friends. We were just part of that, and sadly we were unsuccessful,” he said.
In summer 2012, Aliberti visited the 9/11 memorial to look for the man he was originally hoping to save, Stephen Mulberry. “It was moving. [It] still is. It just sticks with you,” said Aliberti.
Students who were on campus the day of the attacks 14 years ago watched the news, as every TV on the campus, including the big screen in the Maureen Stapleton Theater, was showing the incident. The administration decided to shut down school that afternoon, as fear and confusion had spread throughout the campus.
Fourteen years later, whenever students walk past the flag and see it at half-staff, they stop and reflect on what tragic events happened that day.
“It’s very important to remember these times because it’s history in the making,” said Carrie Farley, program assistant to the Dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Farley is also the advisor for the Armed Forces Club.
Farley’s son was killed in Afghanistan about 15 months after he joined the military in 2004. Farley has gone to the Twin Towers memorial museum in New York City every year since it opened.
“I was amazed walking in the museum. There was a lot of people going through, and there was nobody talking. It was very somber and very silent. That touched me,” said Farley.
Going through the memories of everyone who lost their lives and seeing their names and faces hanging in remembrance at the museum brought a lot of peace to Farley.
“As devastating as it was, New York has rebuilt. Everyone stuck together, and that’s one of the things many people remember,” said Farley.
Hudson Valley plans to always hold this event so that the entire campus can come together and be one big family.
“I just want every American to stand up for their country, and to stand up for their rights, and to show the world that we do love our people,” said Signer.