On Wednesday College of the Ozarks held a special ceremony to commemorate the lives of those who perished in the terrorist attacks that occurred on Sept. 11, 2001.
The ceremony was held at the Lest We Forget 9/11 Memorial located next to the College of the Ozarks Fire Department on the College of the Ozarks campus. The campus family, students from School of the Ozarks, and many members of the local community attended.
Vietnam Veteran John Ligato gave special remarks. Ligato is a retired special agent with the FBI and was instrumental in bringing the memorial to the College of the Ozarks campus.
“A shining example of average American citizens exemplifying the patriotic goal of this College, of loving America and being willing to defend it, occurred on September 11 eighteen years ago,” Ligato said of the passengers aboard United Airlines Flight 93, who attempted to regain control of the doomed aircraft that crashed in Somerset County, Pennsylvania.
Lori King, a visitor to the College from Ohio, attended the memorial. King served as a crisis responder for NOVA (National Organization for Victim Assistance) at the time of the terrorist attacks, and she and her team were dispatched to New York to assist with the tragedy.
King reflected on her thoughts earlier in the day through a Facebook post: “My heart [was] aching for each family as I looked across at the devastation — sounds of the trucks moving back and forth and the smells of smoke still smoldering. I will never forget.”
“College of the Ozarks has taken a leadership role in providing educational opportunities to our campus and the community,” said Bryan Cizek, director of patriotic activities. “We must never forget what happened on Sept. 11, 2001. This ceremony is a great opportunity for members of the community to come together in remembrance with the entire campus family.”
The ceremony included music from the College of the Ozarks Concert Band, the raising of the 9/11 National Remembrance Flag by distinguished guest John Ligato, and remarks from College President Jerry C. Davis.