September 10, 2010
SUNY Cortland plans 9/11 ceremony
College’s student Emergency Medical Service organizing this year’s service Saturday
As a Long Island native, SUNY Cortland junior Austin Glickman believes he feels the pain of Sept. 11, 2001, more deeply than many other students.
He was in sixth grade in Long Beach, east of the World Trade Center, when terrorists flew two aircraft into the twin towers and destroyed them, killing nearly 2,800 people; crashed an aircraft into the Pentagon, killing 184; and took over another aircraft that crashed in Shanksville, Pa., killing 40 people.
Glickman is now chief of the college’s student Emergency Medical Service, which has taken over sponsorship of the campus 9/11 remembrance ceremony from the Office of Student Affairs.
The annual ceremony marking 9/11’s ninth anniversary is scheduled for 5 p.m. Saturday on the Corey Union steps. The rain location is the Function Room on the second floor.
Glickman said he invited college administrators, student leaders and clergy. He expects firefighters from the city and Cortlandville, and police officers from the city, Cortland County Sheriff’s Department and University Police to attend as well, in honor of New York City fire and police personnel who lost their lives and others who assisted in trying to rescue people.
The ceremony will honor six SUNY Cortland alumni who died in the attacks, as previous ceremonies at the college have.
“We were not satisfied with last year’s ceremony and decided we wanted to plan this one,” said Glickman, who majors in adolescent social studies education. “I felt it’s much different up here, in upstate, than on Long Island or in Westchester, places around the city. I saw the smoke rise over the city from my middle school.
“It’s a sad day here but not like the New York area. So I asked the college to let us plan it. We are going to line Neubig Road (through campus) with emergency vehicles.”
The ceremony last year was at Brockway Hall and was not as well attended as previous years’ events at Corey Union. It did not feature students telling stories of what 9/11 meant to them, another custom at the college.
Glickman plans to bring back those aspects of the ceremony. He said college President Erik Bitterbaum cannot attend but he expects other campus leaders.
Few other ceremonies are being planned in the region.
Cortland County plans to fly flags at half-staff in front of the County Office Building and County Courthouse over the weekend, drape a 50-foot American flag over the Public Safety Building for the weekend, and display photographs and memorabilia of 9/11 in the County Courthouse rotunda through this month, said Jeremy Boylan, clerk of the Legislature.
Cortland County firefighters and police will be recognized during the noon parade Saturday at the 1890 Union Fair in Marathon.
The city does not plan anything, said Mayor Susan Feiszli.
Schools just began Tuesday or Wednesday, so it is early in the school year and teachers say they will use 9/11 in lessons throughout the year but are not planning anything specific for today.
“High school students would have been no older than 8 or 9 in 2001, and many elementary students were not born yet,” said Larry Spring, Cortland superintendent of schools. “Students are told why flags are flown at half-mast, when we do that, and 9/11 is discussed in the schools in ways appropriate to each age group.”
“We study 9/11 in the context of foreign policy and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,” said Christine Gregory, a social studies teacher at Cortland Junior-Senior High School. “I made my students’ first writing assignment about 9/11, and it could be personal if they wanted to go that route. I’ll be interested to see what they come up with, when I collect them Friday.”
Area churches also planned to honor the occasion. St. Mary’s Church in Cortland asks, on its sign, that parishioners remember the dead.
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