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APSU service honors military, gives campus opportunity to gather

9/14/2001
September 14, 2001

Members of the APSU community joined together briefly yesterday to express appreciation for America's freedom and to honor the men and women in the U.S. Armed Forces, an action set in motion by the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Sporting red, white and blue ribbons, about 300 faculty, staff, students and community guests gathered around the flagpole in front of Browning Building, where the United States and Tennessee flags are flying at half-staff.

The service began with a moment of silence followed by a prayer led by Jim Alexander, campus minister of the Baptist Student Union. President Sherry Hoppe made brief remarks, as did Louise Morales, SGA president. Both Hoppe and Morales called upon everyone to unite as one nation, saying this is not a time to hate but to mourn.

Commissioner of Veterans Affairs Wendell Gilbert (BG-Ret.), former vice president at APSU, gave a brief but impassioned talk. Calling the terrorist attacks worse than the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, Gilbert said, "America is the land of freedom and of opportunity. And America has always been a generous and forgiving nation. It's so hard to understand why someone would have so much hatred for us."

LTC. Patrick O'Hara, professor of military science, led those gathered in saying the Pledge of Allegiance.

Dr. Allen Henderson, chair of the music department, led the group in singing "God Bless America." The service concluded at 3:20 p.m. with a prayer led by Tim Gunnels, campus Church of Christ minister.