On the eighth anniversary of the terrorist attacks that transpired on September 11, 2001, California State University, Fresno President John D. Welty issued a statement to the university.
â€œAs we commemorate the eighth anniversary of one of the most tragic events in American history, I urge everyone to take a moment to reflect on how we were changed by Sept. 11, 2001.
â€œWhen the Twin Towers fell, so did some of our nationâ€™s innocence. We lost more than 3,000 Americans who were simply going about their daily lives. We saw the collapse of two icons in the Twin Towers, the Pentagon ablaze and devastation across a field in Pennsylvania.
â€œOur Fresno State family also lost two alumni â€“ Vincent Tolbert, who died in the Pentagon, and Todd Beamer, one of the passengers on Flight 93 who forced hijackers to crash the plane in Pennsylvania and prevented it from reaching Washington, D.C.
â€œWe lost much, but we also gained: New appreciation for the bravery and self-sacrifice of individuals. A greater resolve to stand together as a nation. A heightened capacity for compassion and consideration for our fellow citizens. A deeper appreciation for our way of life that celebrates diversity, understanding and tolerance of those different from ourselves.
â€œI believe we also gained a better understanding of who we are as a people and a family.
â€œWeâ€™ll never know what contributions those we lost would have made in creating a better world, but we can keep alive the memory of who they were and what they meant to us and our nation.
â€œIn remembrance of those lost on Sept. 11, 2001, I have directed that the flags at Fresno State fly at half-staff today.”