WILKES-BARRE, Pa. — A ceremony at Wilkes University to remember those lost in the terror attacks on September 11, 2001, began in silence with the presentation of the colors, followed by the National Anthem.
Speeches from service members followed about what they remember most about that day.
"With the utmost courage and ultimate display of service before self, they sacrificed their own lives to save thousands. They were ordinary people called to do an extraordinary thing," said Lt. Col. Sarah Hendrick, Wilkes' AFROTC Commander.
"I was there," said Lt. Col Mark Kaster, the veteran counselor at Wilkes who was in Washington D.C. on September 11, 2001. "I felt it. I saw it. I smelled the smoke, but instead of retelling my story, the tragedy, the sadness—and I'll be glad to at another time to share that—I wish to talk about what we can learn from that day."
Although most of the students here don't have memories of that day, they tell Newswatch 16 it's still had a lasting impact on their decisions today
"Well, I think it's a tragic event for the U.S. It kind of changed my mentality of I want to serve because that got my attention to be like, very mad. So I wanted to protect and serve as well, like, my family since 9/11," said freshman Quentin Day of Annapolis, Maryland.
"On a day like this, it's amazing to see a group like this, get together and you really just find out that we're really all in this together," said Wilkes alumnus Mustafa Almeky. "We are all human and we all are here, the same purpose, we're here to help each other, and 9/11, while it was an extremely terrible event, really showed that at the end of the day when all was said and done, everyone was helping each other."