Despite political differences, MSU student organizations unite to remember 9/11
That phrase describes the solemn scene that could be found at the Rock on Monday evening, where three student political organizations set aside their differences in order to pay tribute to the numerous lives lost on 9/11.
Representatives from MSU College Democrats, College Republicans, and Young Americans for Liberty, or YAL, gathered at the Rock at 8:15 p.m. Their mission, as a Facebook event page detailed, was to come together as Americans to pay respects to those lost 16 years ago.
During a short service, representatives of each group placed small candles at the foot of the Rock, which had been painted as the American flag. Once the candles had been lit, a spokesman for the College Democrats and the Presidents of both the College Republicans and YAL made a joint statement highlighting the fact that in the aftermath of 9/11, the citizens of the United States of America were brought together in concord.
Shortly after they spoke, a moment of silence was observed in remembrance of the first responders and victims of the terrorist attacks.
Capital Green, an MSU a cappella group, was also present at the memorial. Members of the group performed the national anthem as an ode of reverence to the victims of 9/11.
Representing MSU YAL at the event was Ryan Guard, the organization’s president.
“We’re here to remember the tragic events that happened on Sept. 11 of 2001,” Guard said a few moments prior to the start of the memorial. “It’s important for us to all come together as one, and I think historically Americans are good at standing together in the face of adversity.”
MSU College Democrats Press Secretary Eli Pales spoke of how Americans must be united through a shared interest of preserving liberty and combating fear.
“The goal of terror is always to terrorize, and I think that this show of liberty and love is kind of standing in defiance of any sort of terror that we might face, so I think that’s what America needs to do whenever there is any fear,” Pales said. “Giving up is giving in, and as long as we stand united and together, that’s fighting back.”
Kathleen McKee, President of MSU College Republicans and an MSU senior, echoed a desire for bipartisan unity after events like 9/11 occur.
“In this toxic political climate, now it’s very important that we can put politics aside and all come together as one; especially for non-political events like these, where we can honor victims of this terrorist attack that affected all Americans, regardless of politics," McKee said.
Despite their differing sets of political beliefs, the three individuals iterated similar sentiments.
Also present at the event was Associated Students of MSU President Lorenzo Santavicca, who commented on the unanimity shown.
“It was a great way to show unity among our student body for an event that happened 16 years ago that we would continue to remember and acknowledge,” Santavicca said. “I think that our leaders here tonight are a great example of how our student body can come together as one and ultimately serve as an example for the nation...
“I think that as we go forward, these events need to continue. I think our student body will continue finding ways to come together in times that are divisive at the national level.”