As Iowans remember the terrorist attacks of a decade ago, the University of Northern Iowa is planning a series of special ceremonies, a concert, films and lectures. Steve Carignan, assistant vice president of U.N.I., says they have labeled nearly 3,000 American flags with the names of the people killed on Nine Eleven.
They’ll be used to create a field of remembrance at Lawther Field from 8 A.M.-to-noon on Sunday. Carignan says, “You’ll just come and help us plant the flags and then we’ll be having moments of silence at the times when the planes went down or the towers crashed.” To commemorate the victims, those moments of silence will be held at 8:37 A.M., 8:59 A.M., 9:03 A.M. and 9:28 A.M.
On Sunday night, U.N.I. will host a collaboration between the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony, Metropolitan Chorale, Red Cedar Chamber Music and Theatre U.N.I.. It will feature a mix of memorial music coupled with multimedia and dramatic readings on the evening’s themes.
“They’re going to be doing a remembrance concert and it’s going to have pieces, some of which were written specifically in response to Nine Eleven,” Carignan says. “The idea of the concert is not just to memorialize, but also to pass through the grieving, to celebrate the lives of the people lost, not just to mourn them. We’re honoring them but we’re also trying to help heal.”
That free concert is at 7 P.M. Sunday at the Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center in Cedar Falls. Several lectures are planned featuring experts in politics, religion and world affairs, and a presentation by the official Ground Zero photographer. Carignan says it’s remarkable, but most of the freshmen at U.N.I. were only in second grade on the day of the attacks.
“The other remarkable thing is, some students have just grown up in this environment and they don’t understand that things were different before hand,” Carignan says. “They’ve always taken their shoes off at the airport. It’s an opportunity for them to learn about choices that were made and that we have made and understand their world a little better.”
He says events relating to Nine Eleven are planned for the next full year under the heading Reaching For Higher Ground. For more information, visit www.uni.edu/higherground