NMSU Army ROTC remembers 9/11


Gabriel Chavez

NMSU Army ROTC stands ready next to a cannon fired in honor of lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001

Nineteen years after the September 11th attacks, New Mexico State Army ROTC held a memorial ceremony to commemorate the lives lost.

A cannon fired a shot for every major incident that took place on this day: When each plane made impact with the World Trade Center buildings, the Pentagon and the crash just outside Shanksville, Pennsylvania. 19 years ago, 2,977 people lost their lives in multiple attacks across the eastern United States in the largest terror attack the country had ever seen.

The effects of the terror attacks have not only affected those who were there when they happened but those who can remember it as well.

Lieutenant Colonel Mark McLellan, a military science professor at NMSU, said he remembers that day and the way it has shaped his life.

“I had just graduated from my commissioning source at West Point and was working there – thinking of how the future was going to for I and my peers in the army,” McLellan said.

Some students at NMSU don’t remember Sept. 11 because they were just children or infants when it happened.

“We’ve grown up in a completely different world because of [September 11, 2001],” Cadet Command Sergeant Major Felix Apodaca said. “Its very important to remember what happened and to prevent that from ever happening again.”

Apodaca mentioned that he is from the “post-9/11” era and it is very different from the generation of his parents and the way the world operates.

NMSU Army ROTC Cadet Staff Sargent Darren Stockton said the events of Sept. 11 are ones the US will not forget.

“We had to learn – we are not untouchable. Freedom isn’t free,” Stockton said. “Today was our generation defining event.”

“Just like 9/11 was the sound that shook the world, we want that cannon to remind people, to not let them forget,” Stockton said about the use of the cannon. “We learned solidarity from this day.”

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