Montclair State University commemorated the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks made on Sept. 11, 2001.
Students gathered early on Saturday morning in the Student Center before dedicating their day to serve their community. The volunteers worked with several organizations, including AmeriCorp, Jersey Cares, Habitat for Humanity and more in aiding with different services.
Angely Francisco, a senior family science major, expressed the importance of giving back to the community.
“It’s really important to get out into the actual community and branch out beyond Montclair State,” Francisco said. “It’s important to see the different organizations that are making a change and taking part in that.”
The effects of 9/11 extended beyond New York City, reaching communities across the country. Julia Rodano, a freshman computer science major, shared her reasoning for partaking in this event to honor the day and its significance.
“I’m doing this to help the communities that were affected by 9/11,” Rodano said. “It’s almost a ripple effect. If I help someone else, then I can make an impact on their world, and they will do the same for others.”
For many, 9/11 is more than a historical event, but something they share a close connection to. Laury Rodriguez, a junior information technology major, shared more personal aspects about the day.
“The day in general hits close to home for many in the communities surrounding New York [City],” Rodriguez said. “Almost everybody can say they know at least one person who has been personally affected by the attacks of that day. That serves as more motivation to get involved and help those affected.”
Before the volunteers departed for their day of service, Montclair State President Jonathan Koppell shared a message about the importance of service in remembering the attacks on 9/11.
“I think a day of service is an appropriate response to honor the day of 9/11,” Koppell said. “What came out of that day that can be seen as a positive was the general sense of community and the urge to give back to the community as a whole. This day of service is about rediscovering, celebrating and energizing that impulse to come together.”
Koppell went on to highlight the importance of not only remembering the destruction of that day, but remembering the immediate reaction to the attacks, the focus on coming together and building a better society. Koppell concluded by applauding the students and volunteers who dedicated themselves to honoring 9/11 by giving back to the community.
In the 20 years since the tragedy of 9/11, one sentiment has remained: the desire to build a better, more unified community through selfless service.