Twenty years of remembrance: How St. John’s is Honoring 9/11


PHOTO CREDITS/ Sophie Williams

This year marks two decades since the September 11th attacks in Manhattan, Washington D.C. and Shanksville, Pennsylvania. On this day, the United States remembers the nearly 3,000 lives lost and supports their loved ones as well as first responders who risked everything. This week especially, American’s mourn the tragedy of 9/11 in numerous ways. Multiple organizations across campus were among those who joined in the mourning.

Queens Campus Ministry began events of honor with a Memorial Shrine in the St. Thomas More Church. The church was open during the day for prayer and reflection for those who wished to stop by. Special masses were conducted at the church on Friday, Sept. 10 and Sunday, Sept. 12 for the repose of souls lost. On Sept. 11, church bells rang in the morning at 8:46 a.m., 9:03 a.m., 9:37 a.m. and 10:03 a.m., to represent the moments of tragedy twenty years before. 

As for Fraternity and Sorority life, different events were scheduled to raise money for The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation. On 9/11, Brooklyn Firefighter Stephen Siller made his way on foot through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel to the World Trade Center in Manhattan. Siller sacrificed his own life to save others in the midst of the attacks, as many other firefighters in the city. The foundation assists families of fallen first responders and veterans. 

Members of Alpha Sigma Alpha-Gamma Phi, Gamma Phi Beta- Zeta Mu and Sigma Pi- Iota Tau chapters are all raising money for the Tunnel to Towers Foundation to show their support. 

On Friday, Sept. 10 Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority held a 5K around the Great Lawn to represent Siller’s approximate distance from the Battery Tunnel to the World Trade Center. 

“We also began our 5K with an opening ceremony that included a reflection, prayer, and us paying tribute to our national anthem, as well,” Hanna Hudson, president of Alpha Sigma Alphasaid. “Our chapter has surpassed our fundraising goal and collected well over $1,400, and we are still accepting donations.” 

On Thursday, Sept. 16, Gamma Phi Beta sorority and Sigma Pi fraternity will host a fundraiser on the Great Stairs across from Montgoris Dining Hall during common hour. Students will be walking up and down the stairs as a symbol of gratitude. 

“This is part of an initiative to educate students on campus about the atrocities that occured on that day and what many of our Public Safety Officers gave up on that horrific day.” Greg Auteri, president of Sigma Pi said. “The stair climb was put in place to display what our first responders went through on that day.”

The tragedy of 9/11 remains in the mind of the American people everyday. This week it is brought to the forefront, as lives are honored, memories are shared and gratitude is given across the St. John’s campus

Those who want to donate directly to the Tunnel to Towers Foundation or learn more can do so here.