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UTC Memorial to Honor the Victims of Terror

On September 11, 2001, our nation suffered a blow beyond all expectations. The devastation in New York City, Washington, D.C, and Pittsburgh is overwhelming.

Here is how students at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga responded.

A crowd of students, faculty and staff at UTC numbering between three and four hundred held flags and joined in prayer on Wednesday, September 12 in the shadow of the UTC Patten Chapel after terrorist acts in New York, Washington and Pittsburgh.

Vice Chancellor of Student Development Richard McDougall started the service with thoughtful remarks, followed by eloquent speeches made by Keno Becton, Student Government Association President and Tiffany Smith student representative on the University of Tennessee Board of Trustees. The students' transcribed speeches follow this article. Faculty members Drs. Don Klinefelter and Verbie Prevost also offered their insight.

In a second gathering on Friday, September 14 during the National Day of Prayer Chancellor Bill Stacy cancelled classes and all work on campus from 12 noon-1 p.m Approximately 400 students filled Patten Chapel to capacity. Although students were invited to Patten Chapel to sit quietly and reflect with members of the Campus Ministry on hand, one minister felt the students wanted more. Rev. Matilda Dunn, University Chaplain led the students in prayer. Then, for the next hour, students spontaneously stood and prayed, leading each other to join hands and voices as they prayed and sang hymns.

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  Comments from Student Leaders at Campus Memorial Service

Kinko Becton

Kino Becton,
President of the Student Government Association

I ask you to pray for the families of those who were lost. I ask you as a country, as a university, and as a nation to come together as one. Not because of color, not because of background, but because of one person, Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I ask for you to come together and remember those that perished and not to forget those that are now still struggling. It's kind of hard to think about people who have now gone on. It makes me think just how important those words are.

My position as president is really not that important. The clothes that I wear are really not that important. The car that I drive is really not that important. I think you understand what I'm trying to say. If you don't, life is too short to worry about things that are materialistic. I ask for you to pray, and to come together and not point fingers at anybody. This is not a time to come and point fingers. This is a time we come together as a country, as a nation, to come forward. Thank you and God Bless you.

Tiffany Smith

Tiffany Smith,
UTC Student Representative on the UT Board of Trustees

How do you begin to comment on yesterday's events? Like many of you I woke up, ate breakfast, prepared for the day. I was just following my normal routine. I had no reason to think that today would be any different.
I grieve for those who died and for those who lost loved ones.

I grieve for this world and for the hatred it holds so dear. How quickly our lives can change without our ability to control it. Life is too unpredictable. We have to cling to something more that what this world has to offer. We have to place our hope and trust in someone other than ourselves. I heard on the radio yesterday afternoon about a prayer said before Congress. "In God we trust is our motto, but today, let it be our strength." I cannot think of a better way to express what this nation needs right now. We need someone else to be in control, and God is. He is a God of order, not of chaos. I pray that God prepare the hearts of Americans to come together as a nation like
we've never seen before with a love for each other, and as Keno said, regardless of age, sex, race, or background. People have such petty reasons to hate each other. We do not know when our last day on this earth will be. Let's take the days that we have left and cherish life and let the ones that we love know that they are loved, and let's turn to those who are unlovable and show them a love that they may have never before experienced.

Students listen to remarks and pray for those lost in the World Trade Center Collapse, the Pentagon destruction, and the Pittsburgh plane crash. Photo of 3 people listening Photo of people at the service Photo of students listening
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