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NMSU ROTC remembers 9/11 in early morning memorial run

The cadets of Army and Air Force ROTC showed their respect for the victims of the worst tragedy in recent American history and their support for those still serving in the Global War on Terror Friday morning by running 2.5 miles around the NMSU campus.



Army ROTC Cadet Thomas Elliot (center) prepares to fire the cannon at the Horseshoe Friday morning as Cadets Sataria Carter (left) and Joshua Walsh (right) assist with the third of the four cannon volleys. (NMSU photo by Susan Prosoco)

The run was followed by a brief memorial service and flag ceremony at the Horseshoe. Army ROTC shot four cannon volleys throughout the morning to recall the exact times the respective aircrafts impacted.

"The run will become an annual event for NMSU ROTC," Lt. Col. Stephen Groll said. "Our memorial is the very least that we can do to continue to honor those who have fallen."

Groll, AFROTC commander, said he would like to see flyovers become part of the memorial in the future. NMSU ROTC is allowed two flyovers to support Aggie football games throughout the year and requests for aerial support at other events such as the annual President's Pass-in-Review.

"It would be our hope to have a military formation fly over the parade fields right after the moment of silence," Groll said. "I will coordinate that effort next year and hope we can find a local unit to support."

More than 150 ROTC cadets participated in Friday's memorial run and Groll said he is hopeful that next year the event will see a wider student and NMSU community involvement. A proposal to the Associated Students of NMSU to establish the memorial as a concerted campus effort is a possibility, Groll said.

"Throughout our history, there have been certain events that bond and unite Americans. 9/11 was one of those events where Americans rallied around the almost 3,000 victims of a mass terrorist attack on our soil," Army ROTC commander Maj. (P) Andrew Taylor said.

Commenting on the sense that some have become complacent about the effects of 9/11, Taylor said Americans tend to focus inward and forget the world and events around them.

"Our intention is to honor those victims and ensure our collective memory does not forget them. I take great solace and pride in knowing that another generation of Americans is rising to the challenge to take the torch from our predecessors so Americans can live in peace and go about their lives.