University to mark 10th anniversary of Sept. 11 at football game

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The date Sept. 11, 2001, conjures powerful memories, images and emotions for most Americans. Although it has been 10 years since that day, most people remember exactly where they were when they heard the news that terrorists had attacked the World Trade Center in New York and at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and that another hijacked plane, presumably bound for the nation's capital, went down in a field in Shanksville, Pa. 

The University will mark the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks with pregame and halftime events at the Penn State vs. Alabama football game on Saturday, Sept. 10, in Beaver Stadium. Before the 3:30 p.m. kickoff, a color guard of New York City firefighters will be on the field for the National Anthem, which the Penn State Blue Band will play with a special lead-in. Immediately following the National Anthem, there will be a stadium flyover of F-18 Hornets.
The Blue Band will play a patriotic halftime show, with tributes to those lost, those saved and those who have served. Five students will step forward onto the field, each representing one branch of military service and the more than 2,100 members of the University community who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Blue Band also will lead those in attendance in the singing of "God Bless America."
In 2001, before the emergence of Facebook, Twitter and text-messaging, word of the terrorist attacks still spread quickly on Penn State's University Park campus. There were discussions about cancellation of classes, and what the University community could do in response to what happened. After careful consideration, President Graham B. Spanier determined that canceling classes would be a mistake, because it would leave the students with nowhere specific to turn for help in trying to comprehend the horrific events of the day. Instead, he requested that faculty members meet their classes as scheduled, but to use their classroom time as a principal source of comfort for students.
Within hours of the tragedy, the University mobilized to provide counseling and support services. Blood drives were set up, and students, faculty, staff and community members waited in line for hours to give blood to help the survivors of the attacks in New York and Washington, D.C. A vigil was held on the Old Main lawn that evening, with several other vigils and services to follow in the days after the tragedy.
Penn State's Public Information Office mobilized as well, disseminating information to the University community and covering the events that took place on campus. To view the coverage, from the president's message to the University community at noon on Sept. 11, 2001, through the American Pride Parade and Rally held on Sept. 23, 2001, visit online. To see coverage of the University's one-year anniversary commemoration, including a tribute to the 10 known Penn State alumni who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington and the hijacked airline crash in Shanksville, visit online.


To view coverage of the events of Sept. 11, 2001, and the days the followed, click on the image above. Credit: Annemarie Mountz / Penn StateCreative Commons

Last Updated September 08, 2011