SMU police, Park Cities first responders pay tribute to fallen heroes on the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks

A ceremony paying tribute to first responders who lost their lives on 9/11 will be held at SMU Sept. 9.


The SMU Police Department and first responders from the surrounding community will commemorate the 15th anniversary of 9/11 with a solemn ceremony honoring the police officers and firefighters who lost their lives in the line of duty during the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Scene at SMU flagpole on 11sept2001
Scene at the SMU flagpole on Sept. 11, 2001.

University police officers, along with members of the Highland Park and University Park Police and Fire Departments, will participate in a combined honor guard and bell ceremony for the fallen. The ceremonies begin at 9 a.m. Friday, Sept. 9, 2016, at the flagpole on SMU’s historic Main Quad, at the north end of Bishop Boulevard. The event is free and open to the public.

To symbolize the first responders’ devotion to duty, the bell ceremony includes a special signal of three rings, three times each, representing the end of duty and a return to quarters. The signals ring out that “those who have selflessly given their lives for the good of their fellow man, their tasks completed, their duties well done … are going home.”

The remembrance will also feature remarks from SMU President R. Gerald Turner and Police Chief Rick Shafer and a benediction by University Chaplain Stephen Rankin, as well as bagpipe performances of “Amazing Grace” and “America the Beautiful.”

“We welcome the community to come and help us remember those who gave their lives while protecting those they served,” said SMU Police Chief Richard Shafer.

The remembrance ceremony is one of several opportunities for campus visitors, both in-person and virtual, to reflect on and remember the events of Sept. 11, 2001:

  • The George W. Bush Presidential Center houses the permanent exhibit A Nation Under Attack, with artifacts including steel from the World Trade Center, the bullhorn President Bush used to address the crowd at Ground Zero, and letters he received in the days following the attacks.
  • Add your thoughts to an online journal and scroll through entries from SMU's original set of remembrance journals created on Sept. 11, 2001.
  • See a video featuring SMU alumna Christina Rancke ’14, whose father died on 9/11.

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