Westminster College to Conduct Solemn 9/11 Ceremony of Remembrance

Dark blue background and graphic image of Twin Towers in white

Fulton, MO ‒ Sept. 9, 2021: Westminster College and America’s National Churchill Museum will conduct a solemn Ceremony of Remembrance on Patriot Day at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021, in the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury. The hybrid event will take place via the College’s Facebook and livestream pages, the livestream page of America’s National Churchill Museum, and in person for up to 75 masked, socially distanced individuals.

The ceremony will honor the 20th anniversary of 9/11 and the nearly 3,000 lives lost during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon in Washington, DC, and United Airlines Flight 93 that crashed in Shanksville, PA.

During the event, the church’s bells will ring at exactly 8:46 a.m., the time when American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the World Trade Center’s North Tower. The bells will somberly strike the Four of Fives for the fallen.

Donald P. Lofe, Jr., Westminster’s President and Chief Transformation Officer, will speak briefly at the event, which he says is personally significant to him because he was working in Midtown Manhattan that day.

“As the terrible events unfolded, my colleagues and I watched in utter disbelief from afar,” Lofe says. “I feel strongly we should honor and remember all of the people lost that day, including the first responders and so many others who put their lives in jeopardy to save others.”

Additional ceremony participants will include Timothy Riley, the Sandra L. and Monroe E. Trout Director and Chief Curator of America’s National Churchill Museum; Rev. Kiva Nice-Webb, Westminster’s Chaplain and Director of the Center for Faith and Service; City of Fulton Fire Chief Kevin Coffelt and the Fulton Fire Department; and members of the College’s ROTC program.

Westminster’s ROTC program — which was first introduced by former Missouri President Harry Truman — is one facet of the College’s long tradition of military and security history, beginning with Winston Churchill’s word-famous “Iron Curtain” speech in 1946.

Since that time, military and other world leaders are naturally drawn to speaking at the College, which developed a vibrant Security Studies major in 2015 that today leads to numerous prestigious internships and careers at the highest levels of national security.

In keeping with its national security focus, a panel of Westminster faculty will conduct an “Understanding 9/11: 20 Years Later” panel discussion for campus at noon on Friday. The event, which is sponsored by the John Quincy Adams Society and Westminster History Club, features John Allen Gay, Executive Director of the National John Quincy Adams Society.

Other 9/11 commemorative activities will include a campus display of small flags placed in the ground by Westminster’s chapter of the Young Americans for Freedom.

All events honoring those who lost their lives will begin at dusk the evening of Sept. 10 at the base of the Columns on the Hill, when the College will switch on two beams of white light pointing upward, a nod to New York’s Tribute in Light. The middle two columns will be lit in Blue Jay blue.

All events are subject to change. If seating exceeds the 75-person limit, other guests are invited to watch the livestream in the Museum’s undercroft. 

About Westminster College: Founded in 1851 and home of Winston Churchill’s “Iron Curtain” speech, Westminster College in Fulton, MO, is ranked prestigiously by U.S. News & World Report as the only National Liberal Arts College in Missouri. The institution is in the top 16 percent for graduate earnings and boasts a 98 percent placement rate. Westminster also is a Forbes Best Value College. Westminster focuses on educating and inspiring students to become the world leaders of tomorrow. To find out more about Westminster, please visit the College’s website.

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Sarah Rummel Backer

Sarah Rummel Backer is a Media and Content Strategist at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri. A proud Westminster graduate, Sarah has more than 20 years of experience in marketing and strategic communication in the areas of higher education, medicine, agriculture, and the private business sector.