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Students, faculty, parents and alumni gathered at UNC’s 9/11 Memorial Garden Sunday morning to honor the six alumni killed on the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks.
At 10 a.m., Chancellor Holden Thorp ’86 and GAA President Doug Dibbert ’70 laid flowers on the plaque commemorating the alumni who died: Karleton Douglas Beye Fyfe ’92, Mary Lou Hague ’96, Andrew Marshall King ’83, Ryan Ashley Kohart ’98, Dora Menchaca ’78 and Christopher Quackenbush ’79. At the same time, the Morehead-Patterson Bell Tower tolled its bells for a full minute in their honor.
The garden was established by the class of 2005, who were freshmen when the hijacked planes crashed into the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon in Arlington, Va., and a field in Shanksville, Pa.
Ronda Manuel ’05 came to the memorial with her family from her home in Durham. She was in her second week of classes at UNC when she heard about the attacks. Manuel said she sat in her room watching the news, where she was able to catch a glimpse of her father helping co-workers in the aftermath of a hijacked plane crashing into the Pentagon.
“It was great to have so much support from my Carolina family and friends,” she said. “It was a huge part of my Carolina experience and we all lived through it as a class.”
After the last bell tolled and Thorp and Dibbert briefly thanked them for coming to pay their respects, the crowd slowly began to move on to their other Sunday morning plans.
Marianne Rochford of High Point, mother of senior Kelsey Rochford, found the memorial garden an opportunity to pay her respects during a campus visit. A native of the New York area, she noted the connection between this beautiful Sunday morning and the weather exactly 10 years before.
“It was a day just like this, a day with no clouds,” she said. “There are defining moments in your life where you know exactly where you were when a tragedy happens.”
— Jackie Kantor
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