This story first appeared on The Daily Campus.

University ceremony remembers victims

Ashley Withers, The Daily Campus, September 11, 2011

The sounds of "God Bless America" floated over the Dallas Hall lawn Sunday evening as students and community members lit candles in remembrance of the victims of 9/11.

"So tonight we gather to remember, to honor, to pray and to promise," Chaplain Stephen Rankin said. "We promise here at SMU to practice what we desire, for all the world to prevail in peace."

The SMU Service of Remembering also honored a group of veterans who now attend SMU, as well Christina Rancke, an SMU student who lost her father in the World Trade Center on 9/11.

University President R. Gerald Turner spoke at the memorial service and shared with the audience his account of 9/11 on SMU's campus ten years ago.

Turner said SMU was the first place in Dallas to respond to the attacks and he felt like it was important for the students and the university community to have somewhere they could go and feel supported.

"It was the university community at its educational and supportive best," Turner said.

Turner went on to recap the week's events as the service marked the end of the Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility "9/11 Remembered" event series.

"For some the images and stories only make us relive the heartache that this day has brought us," Turner said.
The Muslim Student Association was invited to volunteer at the event.

They helped light and pass out candles to participants during the Memorial Candle Lighting near the end of the service.

"Standing by fellow Americans and showing your support is crucial," Muslim Student Association president Khurram Taufiq said. "We needed to be there and stand side-by-side."

SMU students attended the event to participate in the university's tribute to the fallen.

"I'm here to honor those who died and here for the families of the firemen and servicemen who gave their lives," first-year Grant Ryden said.

 
First-year Sal Saroni came to the memorial service because of his familial ties to 9/11.

 
"I came out to pay tribute to our great nation," Sal Saroni said. "I have family in the military, those that have served abroad. This is for them too."

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