Lawrence and Douglas County

Lawrence and Douglas county

Vigil honors victims on sixth anniversary of terrorist attacks

Kansas University freshmen, from left, Chris Hall, Arkansas City, and Bridgette Moen and Erica Henderson, both of Fredonia, share a quiet moment with other students and community members during a candlelight vigil Monday at KU's Wescoe Beach in remembrance of the lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001. The event was organized by the KU Young Democrats, KU College Republicans and KU Collegiate Veterans Association.

Kansas University freshmen, from left, Chris Hall, Arkansas City, and Bridgette Moen and Erica Henderson, both of Fredonia, share a quiet moment with other students and community members during a candlelight vigil Monday at KU's Wescoe Beach in remembrance of the lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001. The event was organized by the KU Young Democrats, KU College Republicans and KU Collegiate Veterans Association.

September 11, 2007


3 Questions with Julia Groeblacher, KU Young Democrats president

Julia Groeblacher, KU Young Democrats president, talks about the 9-11 vigil held on Wescoe Beach. Enlarge video

For a group of Kansas University students, the Sept. 11 anniversary could not pass without a memorial to those who died then, as well as in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that followed.

About 50 Kansas University students early this morning turned out for a vigil on Wescoe Beach on the KU campus, bringing just a candle and themselves to reflect on where the world has been in the six years since the attack.

State Rep. Paul Davis, D-Lawrence, addressed the students and said the anniversary is not a time for partisanship, but for recalling those who died on Sept. 11 - and those whose heroism saved others.

U.S. Rep. Nancy Boyda, D-Kan., also spoke to the crowd before leading participants in "God Bless America."

Boyda said she was not ready to respond to the specifics of Monday's testimony of Gen. David Petraeus, the senior American military commander in Iraq, before lawmakers.

"I don't understand the specifics of what he's recommending," she said. "I want to take a look at it. What I was pleased to hear him say is he understands that our troops are stressed and strained."

Students held candles and bowed their heads as names of U.S. soldiers killed since the 9/11 attacks were read aloud.

"I don't think that anyone has tried to do an honest vigil for those who died on Sept. 11 in a long time," event organizer Felix Zacharias said. "Especially since 2003, it's been hard to have a true vigil without politics getting in the way."

Zacharias, a veteran of the war in Iraq, said that while the focus of the vigil is on Sept. 11 and those victims, the vigil will also memorialize those who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan. Zacharias wears a blue metal bracelet with the name of a friend who was killed in Iraq.

Originally, the vigil was supposed to be a way for Zacharias and other veterans like him to come together, remember the fallen and share their common bond. Though it eventually grew to be much larger than just veterans, Zacharias said he hoped veterans would still feel a sense of community at the gathering.

"Lawrence doesn't even celebrate Veterans Day, at least not in any big, visible way I've ever seen," Zacharias said. It's not that Lawrence dishonors veterans, he said; it's just that it doesn't really honor them either. It winds up somewhere in the middle.

"I hope that everyone gets a sense of community," he said. "When things like Sept. 11 happen, it doesn't affect a party or a state; it affects a nation."

Staff writer Jonathan Kealing contributed to this report.


Shardwurm 10 years ago

Didn't bother watching the 'Young Democrats' video - she didn't mention how the US 'deserved' to be attacked did she?

Between the KU faculty and the Democrats it wouldn't shock me to hear that students in Lawrence believe that.

davidnta 10 years ago

Wow, you actually dared say that Shardwurm. It is actually Republicans and conservatives that would say the nation deserved to be attacked.

What rock have you been living under? Oh wait, you're a wurm so it make sense that you live under a rock.

jonas 10 years ago

Well good, it's nice that you can hijack a thread about a peaceful vigil in remembrance with partisan bickering and stereotyped insults.

shockchalk 10 years ago

Good point jonas. It's a shame we can't remember the fallen with honor and respect without feeling the need to throw some blame around.

b_asinbeer 10 years ago

And the people of Palestine as well....3-4X more get killed than Israelis (Bless them as well)....

b_asinbeer 10 years ago

Ramirez-I never said it wasn't about 9/11. Look at what I said....I used the word, "and". So, I would like to take today to remember those involved in 9/11, iraq, afghanistan, and every wrong-doing throughout the world.

ZachCarter21 10 years ago

Wow, this is a day to remember that terrorism is s sick, deadly aspect of our lives and you are having an academic discussion on the relevance of an Iraq War veteran gathering fellow students to remember this. I'm glad none of you actually came to this event and saw what it was about yourselves. This event was also to commemorate those who have given their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan (feel free to keep your snide comments at bay on this subject), but I feel that I'm digressing here. People were murdered brutally six years ago, and some of us came together to honor their memories and the sacrifice of American Servicemen and women. Among those present was also a wounded Vietnam Veteran and a student whose sister was killed at Ground Zero. I think of what it was like to shake his hand and, as a combat veteran, it was excrutiating to look him in the eye and say how sorry I was for his loss, he was in tears. You guys are having a coffee-table, theoretical discussion on this horrifying tragedy like it's just a random sports trivia or some scandal in Washington. Geez, I'm awefully glad I went to Iraq to defend people like you. Growing up is recommended.

eesti006 10 years ago

I think that Sept. 11 should be remembered as a day to reflect back on America's freedom and democracy and the sacrifice that many Americans have made to make this country a model of democracy throughout the modern world. However it should also be a day to enlighten Americans about how their own individual liberties and freedoms are gradually being eroded away. Recently I sense that the American people take their liberty and freedom for granted. We need to wake up and realize that an enormous amount of corruption is occurring in America today with the increase in funding by gullible politicians for Non governmental organizations with absolutely no Federal oversight. Many of these NGO's have interests directly related to the politicians who dole out hugs sums of money for "manufactured problems".

Some of these NGO entities appear to resemble Altruists extending their influence to control the executive, legislative and judicial branches of our government.

Organizations such as the Tahirih Justice Center an Iranian American Baha'i faith based organization continue to make backdoor deals with politicians like Senator Sam Brownback to enact blatantly unconstitutional laws that make it a crime for an American to communicate with a foreigner. Tahirih manufactured a "problem" that American men who date foreigners are "Many are premeditated torturers, rapists". (Interestingly an INS study found an abuse rate of these "International marriages" at a mere 1%).

As a result gullible politicians like Senator Brownback (who thinks that Tahirih Justice are frontline experts) sponsored the International Marriage Broker Regulation Act of 2005. The new law requires that American men release their personal and criminal history before they can communicate with a foreigner if they use an International dating Service..allowing government regulators to determine under what conditions American men can communicate with a foreigner that Stalin would have applauded.

What a state that American democracy is in.. The Americans who liberated Europe and then married them in large numbers after World War 2 now cower before an Iranian American Baha'i faith based organization asking them for permission and giving them the power to determine under what conditions Americans can write love letters to Europeans. How absurd.!! Someone should investigate these NON governmental organizations and the relationship that politicians (like Brownback) have with them.( I believe this may be called corruption.)


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