Maya Washburn / Asst. News Director
FIU honored the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks through a heartfelt vigil.
The ceremony on Friday, Sept. 10, highlighted nearly 3,000 lives lost during the tragedy 20 years ago. Powerful words and songs were led by University leaders, a bagpipe procession and a candlelight vigil in the Graham Center pit.
An outline of a map of the U.S. lined the floor of the pit, with candles placed by attendees including students, faculty and staff.
Alexander Rubido, president of the Student Government Association, and Ari Salzman, president of FIU’s Theta Chi fraternity, discussed the importance of remembering 9/11 as students in higher education.
“Part of education is looking towards our past and remembering that the past can be repeated if you don’t remember what it is,” said Rubido. “[At FIU], we’re building the future policymakers, future members of the workforce, and it’s important for them to remember.”
Anthony DeSantis, assistant vice president of Student Affairs and director of Veteran and Military Affairs, urged attendees to be kind to others, especially during this time.
“Twenty years after history is being made, I ask today that you love and care for one another like you did that day,” said DeSantis.
Rubido told PantherNOW he was personally honored by his role at the event.
“I’ve come from a family that values service…my mom is an educator and my stepfather was in the police department,” said Rubido. “You can do your part to help others and this ceremony is just one piece of that.”
Rubido referenced other University events this week, such as a lecture honoring first responders at the FIU football game tonight, Sept. 11. Many students were directly impacted by the attack, he added.
“Undoubtedly, there are many of our students whose families, loved ones [and] friends have been impacted by the 9/11 terrorist attacks,” said Rubido. “We need to honor, remember and provide support for the students who are going through that emotional pain.”
He noted that university events will never be enough to remedy the hurt and pain suffered from the event, but are still vital to inclusivity and remembrance at FIU.