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    UNG Remembers 9/11

    Candle-lit moment of silence Photo by Karla Grace Langford.

    Sept. 11 is an important day in American history and a day that really resonates with the University of North Georgia.

    UNG hosted its yearly 9/11 memorial Thursday night on the drill field at the Dahlonega campus, where the university’s main military institute is based. The Student Government Association and Corps of Cadets worked in correlation with planning the event.

    Start of the ceremony Photo by Karlea Grace Langford.

    The first UNG vigil took place hours after the event 21 years ago and has continued to hold the event every year since. Students and the public are invited to attend the service. The vigil ended with a candle-lit moment of silence and a 21-gun salute, along with a song performed by the Patriot Choir.

    This year’s keynote speaker was UNG alum, Col. Bryan Kirk. Col. Kirk is a highly decorated military officer and has held several different command positions over his career.

    Col. Kirk gave an impassioned speech recollecting where he was on that fateful day and the importance of remembering those who gave everything fighting to prevent something like this from ever happening again.

    “I admit that I feel a sense of obligation, a responsibility to attend and participate however possible so together we remember what has been given by so many.” – UNG Alum, Col. Bryan Kirk.

    Col. Kirk felt that having vigils and other forms of memorial services is important because it brings people together, from all walks of life and age groups.

    “It is important that we have events like these because they connect those who were not there, who may not have been alive when those events happened to those who were,” he said. “And it also is our responsibility to share that with coming generations behind us.” He said that it is important to pass on the values of those who lost their lives that day and the freedoms that they were working to protect.

    Playing of the National Anthem Photo by Owen Langford.

    Col. Kirk has a long lineage of service members within his family and heard the call to this career early in life. However, what he explained that inspired him the most was playing a role in protecting the freedoms of American citizens and wanting to give back in his own way.

    Cadet Major Matthew Baugh, a junior at UNG, believes that it is important to have events like the vigil to remind us of what happened that day and how 9/11 still impacts the world we live in today. “We were still in Afghanistan until last year,” said Baugh. “So it is still a problem we are still fighting that fight and we are still fighting in other places also.”

    Baugh explained that he was initially inspired to join by all the military movies he watched when he was younger, but since joining has now come to realize what an honor it is to serve and how important his work truly is. 

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    UNG Remembers 9/11