STILLWATER — C.C. Reus clutched her father's military dog tags to her chest and wiped away tears Friday afternoon as she visited a 9/11 memorial at Oklahoma State University.
Faculty took turns reading the names of each person who died during the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. They held four moments of silence — one to mark each major incident of that day.
Afterward, students played radio recordings from dispatchers and first responders who assisted after the attacks. A fire truck and part of a beam from the World Trade Center were on display outside the Edmon Low Library. So were boots from firefighters, meant to honor first responders.
Throughout the day, many students stopped by for a few moments or turned their heads to look as they passed by, but Reus, a freshman from Tulsa, sat near the memorial for more than an hour.
“I love this,” she said. “I hate it, but I love it. I haven't seen people take the time to remember it like this.”
Reus came to the memorial as soon as her first class ended Friday. A friend of her family's died when the World Trade Center collapsed. Her father, who served three tours in Iraq with the U.S. Air Force, is undergoing outpatient mental health treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder and depression, Reus said.
“I see those boots and I'm so thankful he's alive,” Reus said. “But it's because of this he's not the man he once was.”
A small beam shaped like a cross from the World Trade Center was donated to the International Fire Service Training Association and Fire Protection Services at OSU. Relics from the two towers have been distributed to communities throughout the United States.