By Robyn Sanders
The “Tribute to Fallen Heroes,” which took place at 3 p.m. Friday, served as a time of remembrance of the Sept. 11th attacks and of soldiers who have laid their lives down in the line of duty, as well as a celebration of those who still serve and who have served. The Lost Heroes Art Quilt, which had been displayed in Moody Library was also featured at the event.
Addresses during the tribute were given by Baylor President Ken Starr, Texas Senator Brian Birdwell, Brigadier General Bill Webber, Brigadier General Joseph P. DiSalvo and Waco Mayor Jim Bush.
During the reception that followed the tribute, Starr said he was honored that Baylor was the quilt’s last stop before heading to Arlington National Cemetery.
“It’s a great tribute to the men and women in uniform who, over the generations, have served from Baylor, and it’s also a great tribute to our ROTC units. We’re very proud of them,” Starr said. “So we’re just thankful that the entire community, the mayor, the wonderful colleagues from Fort Hood, have all come together to honor these risen warriors.”
Anne Grinnols, assistant dean for faculty development and college initiatives, said the tribute and the displays in the library have been a reminder for her of the events of Sept. 11.
“I’m really glad that Baylor did this because it’s so easy to get caught up in the day to day and forget,” Grinnols said. “I walk through the library on the way to teach . . . and I see the display there and it reminds me. We’re human, and we need these reminders.”
Retired Lt. Col. Matt Pirko said that this event was a great way to recognize veterans and those at Baylor who serve, and also that it was a great way to bring the community together.
“The fact that they honored veterans and they honored service today in such a visual and specific way really is a fantastic thing,” Pirko said. “I think the combination of the military, the community, the veterans, all those different groups, really brought it home that this is truly a community effort, and that Baylor is supportive of all those things.”
Gold Star Mother Nancy Hecker, who was here at Baylor accompanying the quilt, said she was very appreciative of the quilt’s positive reception.
“I thought it was wonderful” Hecker said “I love the idea that the quilt was a catalyst for community outreach to the Fort Hood community, to the military community, to gold star families, to blue star families.”
Gold star families have lost a member in service, and blue star families currently have a member in service.