Editor's note — This story has been updated to reflect that Steve Bucci and Suzanne Bucci were at the Pentagon at the time of the 9/11 attacks.
An annual memorial service to commemorate the lives lost on the 9/11 attacks was held Wednesday at The Rock on Farm Lane. Wednesday marked the 18th year since the attacks.
“When you have such a tragedy in the United States, it’s something that you can’t forget,” Mark Klein, vice president of MSU Turning Point USA, said. “It’s something that you have to look at. You have to have that history, because if that history isn’t there, it’s doomed to repeat itself.”
There were 2,977 flags placed in the ground to remember the lives lost on 9/11, and the American flag was painted on The Rock to represent the country coming together during the tragic events.
“We, as a nation, have to decide how we move forward, what we stand for, and who we are as a nation,” President of JMC Kennedy Democrats Jasper Martus said.
The student groups that put the memorial together were the MSU College Republicans, the MSU College Democrats, The Morning Watch, MSU Turning Point USA, MSU Young Americans for Freedom, MSU Young Americans for Liberty. and the JMC Kennedy Democrats.
The memorial hosted two speakers — Steve Bucci, a special forces colonel, and Suzanne Bucci, a registered nurse practitioner. They were both in the Pentagon at the time of the attacks.
“We started out, as we normally did, very early. On this particular day, I brought my wife with me because she was coming in for a job interview to work as a Red Cross volunteer nurse in the clinic,” Steve said. “At 7:30, off she went with the doctor and we continued our day.”
The planes struck the Twin Towers at 8:46 a.m. and 9:03 a.m. Due to the timing of these crashes, Steve and Suzanne were unable to get in touch with each other.
“Finally, at about 4:30 that afternoon, we went back out for about our third or fourth trip out to the actual hole,” Steve said. “At that point, I finally saw my wife. That was the first communication we’d had with one another since I’d dropped her off at 7:30 because the cell system in Washington D.C collapsed under the volume of calls that were going around because of the event.”
From a medical standpoint, Suzanne said she did whatever it took to save as many people as she could during the attacks.
“I had no fear at all,” Suzanne said. “I went right into action and had no fear at all. Even when they said there was another plane coming ... I knew I was right where I was supposed to be. Afterwards, when we came home and saw the ashes all over, that’s really tough.”
Hearing the stories of those directly involved and affected by an event such as 9/11 makes it more real, Klein said.
“When you look at an event like 9/11, a lot of people (my dad) used to work with, his coworkers were actually some of the responders,” Klein said. “It’s one of those things that actually make it seem a little more real. Specifically, these aren’t just victims; these aren’t just people who were murdered. These are friends, these are neighbors, these are family members.”
The groups said they hope the memorial will encourage future generations to never forget the events that transpired on 9/11, as well as to be ready to act and to come together as a country.
“You don’t know what you are going to wake up and be asked to do,” Suzanne said. “You guys are here in college and you have a calling in life. You may think it’s economics, you may think it’s (agriculture), you may think it’s nursing or medicine or whatever you’re studying. Your walk will evolve and that’s an exciting thing to be. You think, ‘What am I going to do in life?’ Well, I had no idea I was going to be in a building on 9/11 rescuing people.”