The World Trade Center opened on April 4, 1973. At the time that the buildings were completed, they were the tallest buildings in the world. The complex cost $400 million, or $2 billion today. After the towers were destroyed on September 11, 2001, cleanup took nearly eight months, and a memorial was made where the towers stood.

IUP will host a 9/11 memorial service from 11:40 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Friday. It will take place in the Oak Grove in front of the 9/11 memorial.

For the 20th anniversary of 9/11, there are some special guest speakers that will make an appearance at the event.

The guest speakers attending this ceremony include IUP’s President Michael Driscoll, an award-winning journalist Tim Lambert whose family-owned part of the land where Flight 93 crashed in Shanksville, Pa., and Bethany Barefoot, an alumna who received a scholarship that was created in honor of an IUP graduate who died in the attacks.

This is the 19th year that the university has held a 9/11 memorial event.

“Our first event was held on Sept. 11, 2002,” Michelle Fryling said. “More than 2,100 members of the IUP community gathered for a 9/11 anniversary remembrance.”

Fryling said that the memorial was put in on Oct. 4, 2002, and is on a “long-term loan” to the university from the Kovalchick family of Indiana.

“The relic, a 13-foot remnant of the World Trade Center,” Fryling said, “is accompanied on the left by a granite memorial in honor of those lost in the Sept. 11, 2001, attack.

“IUP faculty member Dr. James Nestor (art, retired) was instrumental in the design of the memorial, which was a joint project of IUP Student Congress and the Office of the President.”

IUP lost three alumni in the destruction of the World Trade Center, Fryling said.

William Moskal ('79), Donald Jones ('80) and William (Bill) Sugra ('93) were the three members that died on 9/11.

“I think it’s really nice that even though it’s been 20 years, they’re still remembering the people who lost their lives,” Dakota Barton (sophomore, English) said. “I think that, especially because they have a piece of wreckage, too, it really shows that they care.

“A lot of people our age stopped caring about it, but IUP helps to keep the memory alive even if it was tragic.”

For many years, this event has been held on the morning of Sept. 11 with moments of silence occurring when the planes hit the World Trade Center. This year, however, the anniversary falls on a Saturday, so the event has been strategically planned to be during IUP’s Common Hour to allow as many people as possible to attend.

According to a past news release on this event, if there is inclement weather, the event will be moved indoors to the Performing Art Center’s Fisher Hall. Please remember that masks are required in all IUP buildings; however, they are not required outdoors on campus.

This event will also be livestreamed for anyone who wants to watch but cannot attend. The livestream can be found on IUP’s YouTube channel.

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