By Madison Beckman
The Mount held two events to help commemorate the 14th anniversary of the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
The first was guest speaker Lt. Col. Robert Darling (RET). At the time of the attacks, Darling was in charge of planning the logistics of the president’s trip to Sarasota, Fla. After the first attack, his office building was evacuated and he was ordered into the undercover bunker underneath the White House with the vice president.
The presentation consisted of a detailed timeline of the events that took place that day, and the audience was drawn into the story. His account of the grave decisions that faced government officials that day had the audience mesmerized. It made us all remember our worries and fears from that day. His presentation was well informed and witty, with a few well-placed jokes that helped to lighten the mood during such a grave conversation.
After the timeline, he read a tribute to all of the fallen people, including the ordinary people who rushed to the aid of their fellow humans. The experience touching and informative, especially to people from our generation, who may have been too young to truly understand what was going on on that day 14 years ago. If you weren’t able to make the presentation, you can read his story in his book, “24 Hours Inside the President’s Bunker.”
After Darling’s address, a candlelight vigil was held in the Dominican Center Chapel. Each person was given a candle that stayed illuminated throughout the ceremony which included bible readings, passages from the pope and live music. The ceremony also included a reflection by Dr. Mike Daven, PhD, and a video presentation with music by Brendan Nestola. The main message of the ceremony was peace. All in all, it was a cathartic and reflective experience.