A single memorial on SUNY Plattsburgh's campus didn't feel so lonely Wednesday. More than 200 students, faculty and community members crowded around Hawkins Pond to remember the tragedy that shook this country 12 years ago.
"We were confused why we couldn't go outside for recess, why all the teachers were crying. And so it was then we went home and my mom took me outside to look up in the sky and she showed me it was so quiet, there were no planes out. My dad called me the next day upset that I didn't call him that day and I didn't understand the importance of it," said Vanessa Cappon, a SUNY student.
Two of Plattsburgh's graduate students perished during the attacks on Sept. 11. Robert Sutcliffe, class of 1984, and William Erwin, class of 1992.
"Erwin and Sutcliffe were in New York City doing what they love to do as well as they could do it. And out of the blue comes this colossal tragedy, a painful event that shaped all of us," said Douglas Skopp, a retired SUNY professor.
Each year, the college hosts a ceremony to remember the two men and all others affected by 9/11.
"The Battle of Plattsburgh coincidently falls on 9/11, too. So, it's a good time for us to remember what goes into the personal sacrifice and the challenges we must keep in our minds," Skopp said.
"The thing is you never know, you never know who was affected by it. It could be 10 people in this crowd could have a sibling that was killed in it. You never know, that's the biggest thing. The person you walk by on the street could have been affected by it and you don't know it," Cappon said.
Memories of that day bringing this community closer together.
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