Three-thousand American flags decorated the front lawn of the Student Recreation Center yesterday.
Cal State Fullerton’s College Republicans held a “Never Forget” demonstration remembering the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Each flag bore the name each of the 2,977 individuals who lost their lives in the 2001 attacks and the 2012 Benghazi Embassy attacks.
The event began at 5:30 a.m. with club members and volunteers placing the small flags on the SRC lawn.
Club president Seth Morrison spoke during the ceremony on how the terrorists attacks changed America. He asked all in attendance to engage in a moment of reflection and place themselves back to where they were at the time the tragedy occurred.
“We should remember how we came together as a response to fear and threats to our freedom. We responded in generosity and giving of ourselves to each other,” Morrison said in his address to the crowd.
Chaplain Fernando Villicaña of the Fullerton Fire Department spoke to attendees about his perspective on the attacks and the chain reaction that occurred across the country and the years following.
“Tragedies can somehow bring people together,” Pastor Villicaña said.
Instead of factions, these different groups became one in unity, he said.
The flag display garnered attention from passersby including students, professional photographers and the local media snapping photos of the exhibit.
CSUF’s Twitter feed was filled with pictures and tweets regarding the event and remembering the victims of 9/11.
Members of the surrounding community including veterans, representatives Tim Shaw and Arturo Garcia from Sen. Bob Huff’s (R-Diamond Bar) office and representative Desaré Ferraro of North Orange County Conservative Coalition were in attendance.
Although the majority of CSUF students were in elementary or middle school when the attacks took place, College Republicans felt it was still important to pay tribute to a life-changing event.
Club officer Keith Fierro hopes that the event encouraged attendees to think what was inflicted by the attacks and that the event helps students to recognize the tangible loss the country faced in the attacks.
College Republicans were also accepting donations in exchange for the flags that were on display.
Proceeds will be donated to the Wounded Warrior Project, a nonprofit organization that serves veterans and servicemembers who suffer injuries in the line of duty.
The crisis that took place the morning of Sept. 11 was declared an act of terrorism, resulting in the George W. Bush Administration launching a War on Terror to combat the Taliban and al-Qaeda, the extremist groups behind the attacks.
After more than a decade of war, the U.S. has had over 6,500 military casualties.
While this was the CSUF College Republicans’ first time hosting this event, the club’s umbrella organization Young America’s Foundation, hosts a similar ceremony every year.