By Paula Ann Solis
Americans have a history of grieving and remembering in unity the lives lost during the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the nation 12 years ago. Today, the Baylor community continues that tradition as the McLane Carillon bells ring out hymns of remembrance.
Carillon performer Lynnette Geary will hold a free recital at 5 p.m.
While the bells can be heard throughout campus, the public is invited to bring lawn chairs and blankets to gather in front of Pat Neff Hall.
Programs for the audience will be placed at the steps and the entire performance is estimated to last 30 minutes.
Performing every year on the anniversary, Geary said she began honoring those lost with her first performance Sept. 11, 2001, the day of the attacks.
“There is a saying that music can express things that words cannot and I think that this is an excellent example of that,” Geary said.
Geary will perform the hymns “Doxology” and “Amazing Grace,” both arranged by Baylor’s first carillon performer, Herbert Colvin, and an Air Force hymn arranged for the carillon by Geary herself, “Lord, Guide and Guard the Men Who Fly.” Other military branches will be represented by their individual hymns.
For Bronx, N.Y., junior Amanda Plummer, the opportunity to reflect on the day that so greatly affected her home state is welcomed. Plummer said the day is not remembered in Texas as strongly as in New York, where the community heavily reflects every year on the event they went through together.
“Back home my family will probably stay home together and watch documentaries to remember the day,” Plummer said. “Churches in my community will definitely hold memorial services and people in the neighborhood will definitely be coming together.”
Plummer said she would enjoy seeing a more physical memorial, similar to the flags in the ground during the 2011 memorial on campus. A visual memorial, Plummer said, is important especially for those who lost people that day and want to reflect.
Geary said she agrees the day demands great reflecting.
“It is essential to our nation’s history and the Baylor community should commemorate it, as tragic as it was,” Geary said. “It’s worth remembering.”
Another group in the Waco community with plans to remember the day includes the Islamic Center of Waco, located at 2725 Benton Drive.
The organization will host a candlelight vigil at 7 p.m. at the center with speakers from various religious backgrounds, said the center’s president Al Siddiq.The event is free and open to the public. Dr. Burt Burleson, Baylor’s Chaplain, will attend the Islamic Center’s service and will speak briefly.
“Those of us in leadership positions should reach out to each other and be hospitable and understanding,” Burleson said. “The pain of our past for both Christians and Muslims is seared in our consciousness and this is one of those days to remember that we are called to make things better.”
For those who miss the carillon performance or are unable to make the Islamic Center’s event, a permanent memorial in Waco allows the community to visit and remember the day when they have time. Lacy Lakeview’s Veteran’s Memorial Park has a newly erected memorial dedicated to the victims and first responders of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.