Remembering September 11, 2001
It has been nearly two decades since the tragic events of September 11, 2001. And though we have long said "Always Remember" in memorial to this tragedy, an entire generation has been born who won't always remember. They will experience it second hand, through the stories of the generations that came before. The stories that remember those we lost and the stories that remind us of those who stepped forward to face unknown dangers for their fellows.
Without a doubt, these future generations will not need reminding that tragedies exist. This year, we have known trials and tribulations. We have acknowledged that there is suffering, hate and violence and we have sought to be better. As this next generations of young adults enter college, or start careers and forge their way in the world, they should also be reminded of the best of our world. That in the wake of this unprecedented tragedy on American soil, heroes stepped forward, and humanity came together. 9/11 showed us the worst of humanity, but it also showed us the best. We can always be better when we come together.
As we remember this devastating date in America's history, we pause to cherish the lives we have and those men and women who protect us each day.
Thousands of men in Tau Kappa Epsilon have served in the military for the United States or Canada. Their selflessness and sacrifice have made our fraternal experience possible. The Offices of the Grand Chapter would like to thank all Fraters who have served in the military. We remember September 11 as a day that the United States grew stronger. We remember September 11 so that we all might learn to live our lives at the highest level possible in the future.
Thousands of lives were lost in the attacks in New York City, Washington, D.C. and the crash in Pennsylvania. Among the victims were five members of Tau Kappa Epsilon: Fraters John C. Willett (Kappa-Nu, Rockhurst), Sgt. Major Larry L. Strickland (Chi, Washington), Douglas A. Gowell (Mu-Epsilon, Lowell), Steven D. Jacoby (Zeta-Tau, Shippensburg) and Michael J. Mullin (Sigma-Epsilon, SUNYOneonta).
In the fall of 2001, Tau Kappa Epsilon's THE TEKE wrote a powerful piece titled "Answering the Call" in memory of those Fraters who lost their lives.
John C. Willett was on the phone in his 101st-floor World Trade Center office when the first American Airlines jetliner crashed into his tower Tuesday morning. Sgt. Major Larry Strickland was in the Pentagon after giving up a day off to attend a meeting. Douglas A. Gowell was an unsuspecting passenger when his United Airlines flight was hijacked in midair.
Click here to read letters in memory of John C. Willett, Sgt. Major Larry Strickland and Douglas A Gowell.
Remember these Tekes, their families and the thousands of victims of this tragedy. Remind yourself of the heroes and of the love and charity shown in our communities. Remind yourself that even though humanity may face tragedy, we are all in this together. We are all building a better world.
As our Fraternity strives to be Better Men for a Better World we will always remember our past, and we will never forget September 11, 2001. We will not forget those we lost, and we will not forget those who stood for the best in us all.
Photo by Jesse Mills on Unsplash