American Flags on South Lawn

Students, staff and faculty planted American Flags on the Millennium Student Center South Lawn to remember the lives lost during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. (Photos by August Jennewein)

Last week, dozens of American flags waved in the afternoon breeze on North Campus at the University of Missouri–St. Louis.

The striking scene was a memorial to the lives lost during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and the two decades since the tragedy. The UMSL Veterans Center organized the remembrance, inviting students, staff and faculty to plant a flag outside the Millennium Student Center on the South Lawn throughout the week.

Joshua Evans, who recently became the new VA certifying official and coordinator of the center in July, said he knew the anniversary was around the corner and wanted to do something special.

Police Officer Amanda O’Neill (kneeling) and Detective Mariah Thomas place flags in the ground for the memorial outside the Millennium Student Center. Both officers work for the UMSL Police Department.

“I remember when I was a student here quite often I would see flags in the ground for various student organizations and awareness events, and I thought that would be a good thing our campus could do,” he said.

Initially, the Veterans Center staff was just going to plant the flags but decided to involve the whole campus.

“When we started on Tuesday, the idea came up that this would be a good event to open the floor to everybody who wanted to come,” Evans said. “So that’s what we did. We set up a table out there – opened the event to the campus to come and support it.”

Evans said the 20th anniversary of 9/11 was a somber moment, but he felt honored to help organize the memorial.

“I would like to give a shout out to Triton Vets, our student veterans organization,” he said.  “They were a big part of this happening, helping with the personnel, helping with the flags. I think for all of us, it helps. It helps us deal with what we’re seeing lately in the news. What we’re seeing the current events going on. It helps us feel like we’re still a part of our nation healing.”

Burk Krohe

Burk Krohe