The initiative is spearheaded by the political science student organization POLITEIA, a decades-old club that has been sponsoring the planting of 9/11 remembrance flags since 2008. The club’s mission is to promote interest in political affairs through research, professional opportunities, leadership, and current events.
The first 9/11 remembrance ceremony to be held on campus was just days after the attacks, on September 14, 2001. A reeling community gathered in solemnity to honor the fallen and to hear remarks from President Schneider and Vermont Governor Howard Dean.
In 2008, POLITEIA faculty advisor and Associate Professor of Political Science Jason Jageman was approached by a student who wanted Norwich to participate in the Young America’s Foundation’s 9/11: Never Forget Project. This nationwide initiative brought tributes to over 180 campuses that year. Student leaders and volunteers of POLITEIA have continued the tradition at Norwich ever since.
This year, all members of the Norwich community are invited to observe and reflect on the thousands of flags that represent the tragedy’s nearly 3,000 victims from over 90 countries. They will surround the flagpole on the Upper Parade Ground as our nation’s flag flies at half mast.
As in past years, POLITEIA’s flag display will be accompanied by remembrance observances conducted by the Corps of Cadets. The remembrance will include the marching of vigil tours beginning at midnight on September 11. Senior cadets each marched slowly around the Upper Parade Ground in a circuit lasting precisely 30 minutes apiece. At 10:00 PM, the campus will fall silent for the ceremonial playing of Echo Taps and Amazing Grace.
The Norwich University family especially remembers two of its own who were lost that day: George Morrell, Class of 1976, and Thomas Palazzo, Class of 1979. Both worked on the 104th floor of the World Trade Center. At least one other Norwich graduate narrowly escaped the disaster. Rob Colatarci, Class of 1995, worked in the World Financial Center across the street from the World Trade Center. Lauren Musso of the Class of 2011 witnessed the events as a child in Queens, a formative experience that inspired her to join the military and become a nurse.
We also honor the contributions of alumni like Harold Shaw, Class of 1988 who was in his FBI office just blocks from the World Trade Center at the time of the attacks. Shaw was part of the Joint Terrorism Task Force and spent two years assisting with the investigation into the September 11 attacks. He now heads the FBI office in Boston, and was the subject of an article in the Summer 2017 Norwich Record.
If you’re on the Hill this Monday, September 11, please join the students of POLITEIA in remembrance.