BELTON, Texas—This Saturday, on the 20th anniversary of 9/11, the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor will remember the 2,977 lives lost during the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks with a Patriot Day football game and festivities to honor local Bell County first responders.
Patriot Day events will begin at 4 p.m. with a pregame showcase on King Street, featuring fire trucks and K-9 police units, and will continue at Crusader Stadium for special recognition of local first responders at 5:50 p.m. The national anthem will be sung by UMHB’s One Voice while a large U.S. flag is presented on the field, followed by an aerial flyover with Fort Hood. Kick-off then begins at 6 p.m. against East Texas Baptist University. Teams will wear helmet decals to honor the lives that were lost on and because of the terrorist attacks. Local first responders and active duty military will be honored with free admission.
“As a university, it is our privilege to honor local first responders alongside those brave men and women who lost their lives on this day 20 years ago,” said Dr. Randy O’Rear, UMHB president. “It’s hard to believe that 20 years has passed, but we are blessed to live in this great nation and hope that, in some small way, our campus events will memorialize this important day in our country’s history.”
While on campus, visitors are encouraged to experience the student organization-sponsored 9/11 memorial. The UMHB chapter of Young Conservatives of Texas (YCT) is proudly planting 3,000 American flags and displaying memorial boards in front of Luther Memorial to honor the lives tragically lost 20 years ago. This memorial will be on display all day and is one of YCT’s longest-running traditions.
“The average college student today was born between 1999 and 2003, meaning the majority of my peers do not remember the impact these attacks had on our nation,” said Nate Dunning, YCT-UMHB chairman. “This memorial means a lot to me personally since I’ve been to the locations of all of the crash sites, and I’ve been moved by all three memorials. I hope what we are doing here on campus pays homage to those who lost their lives that day in a similar fashion to the memorials I’ve been so moved by in the past.”
Members of the UMHB and surrounding communities are encouraged to attend and pay their respects to the fallen.