At the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks in the eastern United States, California State University, Fresno joins the nation in collective reflection about the sad events of that day and in charting the road that lies ahead.
University President John D. Welty issued the following statement about the anniversary:
“September 11 is a date that forever will occupy a special place in the hearts of all Americans. And for those of us who hold Fresno State so dear, it is a date that is twice significant. As with our countrymen, September 11 is forever etched in our minds for the terrorism and tragic loss of more than 3,000 innocent lives at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and Shanksville, Pa. At Fresno State, we also commemorate that date as the anniversary we opened its doors in 1911.
As we remember our university’s beginning on September 11, we are especially humbled by the memory of two of our alumni, Todd Beamer and Navy Lt. Cmdr. Otis Vincent Tolbert, who lost their lives on a day this nation shall never forget.
Hallmarks of our great country – and of Fresno State – are our resiliency and our ability to see light where there was darkness. I hope that we will continue moving forward – as a nation and as a university – with confidence and pride, and also with profound gratitude and respect for all of those individuals who sacrificed so much.”
Fresno State established a memorial to both Mr. Beamer and Lt. Cmdr. Tolbert, planting two Canary Island pine trees in the campus Peace Garden. The twin trees and their markers are part of campus greenspace designed to be an oasis of serenity on the busy campus.
Mr. Beamer also is memorialized a city park at Maple and Plymouth avenues in northeast Fresno. A seven-mile stretch of State Route 198 near the Lemoore Naval Air Station has been designated the Otis Vincent Tolbert Memorial Highway.
Fresno State fraternities and sororities, will mark Sunday, Sept. 11, with a Greek Community Cleanup Day and a 9/11 tree-planting ceremony. The cleanup effort – a Day of Service in the tradition of past anniversaries of 9/11 – begins at 2 p.m. and will include areas near Fresno State where students reside in apartments and in fraternity and sorority houses.
At 3:45 p.m. at the Delta Sigma fraternity house (southwest corner of Millbrook and Joyal avenues), a tree will be planted in memory of Mr. Beamer and Lt..Cmdr. Tolbert.
From 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, Sept. 12, there will be a panel discussion, “9/11: Ten Years Later,” at the Leon S. and Pete P. Peters Education Center in the Student Recreation Center. Panelists will discuss historical, ethical and practical implications of 9/11.
Participants are Dr. Yishaiya and Dr. Michael Becker of the Fresno State Department of Political Science; Dr. Lori Clune, Department of History; former FBI agent Thomas Knowles; and Kamal Abu-Shamsieh, director of the Islamic Cultural Center of Fresno.
The event, which is free and open to the community, is sponsored by the university’s Philosophy Club, Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society and Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society will sponsor