EDMOND — As Dillon Rice planted flags at the University of Central Oklahoma in memory of the victims of the 9/11 attacks, he admitted he could barely remember the day.
Rice, 18, was just 6 years old when hijacked airliners struck the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
Rice, of Muskogee, was at home sick that day, he said. He remembers his mother and grandmother pacing the floor, more upset than he'd ever seen either of them. They told him what had happened, he said, but he didn't totally understand.
“I hardly remember,” he said. “I really didn't comprehend that at the time.”
Rice, a freshman at UCO, was one of a crowd of students, faculty, staff and others who gathered at a ceremony Wednesday morning to remember the attacks. After the ceremony, visitors planted 2,500 American flags around UCO's Broncho Lake.
Later in the day, teams of volunteers passed out more than 300 packages to 18 Oklahoma City-area fire stations and made spaghetti dinners for firefighters. The packages included handwritten notes from UCO students, faculty and staff.
During the ceremony, UCO President Don Betz said the impact of the attack extended not just to those old enough to be directly affected themselves, but also to students like Rice, who were barely old enough to remember.
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We are here today not as individuals, but as a community.”
UCO President Don Betz,