Constant Flag Carry ceremony at Misericordia University honors lives lost and emergency responders of 9/11

By Eileen Godin - [email protected] | September 11th, 2017 5:35 pm - updated: 5:39 pm.

DALLAS TWP. — The American Flag was silently escorted around Misericordia University’s campus Monday during the school’s Constant Flag Carry ceremony held in memory of the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and their families and first responders.

Small groups of people, comprised of more than 500 students, community members, university faculty and staff took turns carrying the Stars and Stripes in 15-minute intervals around the campus from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Marianne Puhalla, a marketing communications staff writer at Misericordia University, said.

The event started with a short ceremony and a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m. at the Wells Fargo Amphitheater to honor the 2,996 people who were killed and thousands that were wounded 16 years ago, as well as all the military and emergency responders who came to help.

A timeline of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks provided by CNN reported:

• At 8:46 a.m., American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center in New York City.

• At 9:03 a.m., United Airlines Flight 175 flew into the south tower of the World Trade Center.

• At 9:37 a.m., American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.

• At 10:03 a.m., United Airlines Flight 93 crashed into a field near Shanksville.

Misericordia University student John Tierney, of Bethpage, N.Y., took great pride in his turn to carry the American flag around the campus.

“It is a great day to carry the flag,” the 21-year-old said. “We are the last generation to remember 9/11, and it is important to show the younger students the importance of this day.”

Tierney, who was wearing a navy blue New York Fire Department t-shirt, said his dad was part of a search-and-rescue team who helped following the collapse of the Twin Towers.

He was in kindergarten when the attacks on the World Trade Center towers occurred and remembered being sent home early that day.

He also remembered his dad, whose name is also John Tierney, was preparing to leave to help find people among the buildings’ debris.

“He was gone for two days,” he said.

The bold red, white and blue colors of the American flag were eye-catching as the first group that included nearly 17 members of the Misericordia University men’s lacrosse team walked around a corner and descended into the Wells Fargo Amphitheater to hand off the flag to the Misericordia cheerleaders.

The flag being paraded through the campus is a powerful image and made people pause their activity and take a moment to remember, said Lindsey Riddell, community outreach coordinator at Misericordia University and organizer of the event.

“Our first-year students don’t even have any recollection of what life was like before 9/11,” Riddell said.

Student Emily Gurtizen, of West Chester, remembers being dismissed from her half-day kindergarten program and coming home and watching the news coverage of the attacks over and over with her mom.

She may not have fully understood what happened then, but today, the 21-year-old participated in the remembrance ceremony to raise awareness of the events and lives affected by the terrorist attacks.

“It is important to remember,” Gurtizen said. “We are making something positive come out it by uniting as a campus, which symbolizes what happened with our country.”

Student Bailee Hymers, 21, of East Meredith, N.Y., remembered kindergarten teachers kept the terrorist attacks “hush hush,” but she knew something bad happened.

Today, Hymers sees the tragic events as a way that the country united.

“I think it shows the strength of our nation and our community when different groups come together and do things like this,” Hymers said.

Twenty-one-year-old John Tierney carries the American flag at Misericordia University’s annual Constant Flag Carry ceremony Monday in memory of the 9/11 attacks. Tierney was in kindergarten when the attacks of 9/11 occurred. John Tierney carries the American flag at Misericordia University’s annual Constant Flag Carry ceremony Monday in memory of the 9/11 attacks. Tierney was in kindergarten when the attacks of 9/11 occurred. Aimee Dilger | Times Leader

By Eileen Godin

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Reach Eileen Godin at 570-991-6387 or on Twitter @TLNews.