By Marc R. Masferrer, University Communications and Marketing
The University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee campus will remember victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and pay tribute to survivors, first responders, members of the military and their families, during a remembrance event on Monday, Sept. 11, at Sarasota National Cemetery.
Usually held on the Sarasota-Manatee campus, the annual remembrance event is being moved this year to Patriot Plaza on the cemetery grounds off State Road 72 in Sarasota, to avoid interfering with ongoing construction of a new student center and residence hall on campus. The event will start at 8:30 a.m.
“The new venue is a perfect backdrop for the Sarasota-Manatee campus and the larger community to remember those who died and the sacrifices made by so many on 9/11 and since that tragic day,” said event organizer Carlos Moreira, the director of campus engagement for veteran success and alumni affairs on the Sarasota-Manatee campus. “We hope members of the USF community and residents of Sarasota and Manatee counties will join us to honor those who died and the first responders, military servicemen and women and others who responded bravely to the terrorist attacks.”
One element of USF’s annual commemoration of the terrorist attacks is remaining on campus. Starting at 9 a.m., on Saturday, Sept. 9, students, faculty, staff and other volunteers will plant 2,977 miniature United States flags — one for each person who died in the attacks in New York City, Virginia and Pennsylvania — in the campus courtyard.
The featured speaker at the remembrance event on Sept. 11, which is organized by the Sarasota-Manatee campus and the USF Office of Veteran Success, is retired firefighter Matt Bruce. USF Federal Credit Union is the title sponsor.
Bruce was injured during the attack on the World Trade Center while a state fire inspector on duty with the Fire Department of New York on Sept. 11, 2001. He is a Vietnam War Army veteran and the recipient of two Purple Hearts and Bronze and Silver stars.
"For those of us who were there, we will never forget the true heroes of the day, the ones who died,” Bruce said. "It’s all about never forgetting what happened, the evil force that did it and those we remember for all eternity.”
The ceremony will also include remarks from USF Sarasota-Manatee campus Regional Chancellor Karen Holbrook, patriotic performances by the Saint Stephen’s Episcopal School children’s choir and Braden River Brass (Julie Walters, Jim Hill, Jim Bertrand, Dan Dodds and James Damoulakis), a bagpiper playing “Amazing Grace,” a moment of silence, a 21-gun-salute and a bugler playing "Taps."