Five years ago, the university gathered on the baseball field when they heard about the attacks in New York.
On the fifth anniversary of the tragedy of September 11, a portion of the Eastern community gathered together on the baseball field again.
The commemorative service began with the meditative words of chaplain Joe Modica, followed by a reading of Scripture verses. The selected passages and songs dealt with the themes of remembrance and hope.
As music rose above the darkness, students silently drifted toward the baseball field.
The turnout was far more than anyone expected. According to Modica, though each year’s turnout differs, the SGA and the student chaplains had 145 candles on hand for the candlelighting.
This year, that still was not enough for those who attended. The previous few years had an average of about 50 to 80 people. Modica guessed that around 200 students attended the 9/11 commemorative service this year.
The opening prayer by senior student chaplain Tim Hobbs set the tone for the evening and allowed the attendees to begin to reflect.
Each person who spoke provided everyone with a sense of hope. The reflection given by SGA president Jared Bass was moving and thought provoking, and allowed those who attended to obtain a sense of togetherness and security.
The community prayer by senior student chaplain Tiffany Smith was by far the most reflective. She asked everyone to look up at the starry sky and admire all that God has provided.
The ability to appreciate such magnitude gave everyone a sense of hope that we all will be able to live in a post-9/11 world.
The significance of the candlelighting at the end of the service left those who attended with a deeper sense of hope.
“By lighting the candles we are able to take away the darkness that surrounds us,” Modica said.
As the final scripture reading from John 8:12 said, “Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.'”
The service ended with Joe Modica asking for a silent dismissal to allow for more reflection on what had been heard.
All in all, the night allowed students to concentrate on the themes of remembrance and hope and, most of all, the love of God.