Since 2003 Young America’s Foundation has been organizing hundreds of college campuses around the country to commemorate the 9/11 terrorists attacks. Billed as the 9/11 Never Forget Project, students place 2,977 American flags in a memorial. Each flag represents a victim from twelve years ago.
Campuses in Wisconsin have been participating in the project since its inception; however, today’s memorial caused controversy at the University of Wisconsin La Crosse spurring the Chancellor to send an email walking back the flags’ cross formation.
The College Republicans at La Crosse led the building of the display and are hosting a memorial service at noon.
UW-La Crosse Chancellor Joe Gow emailed the all school’s faculty and students promoting the memorial service. Gow also questioned the cross amongst the display.
In addition, since receiving Ben’s note early this morning I’ve been informed that the 9/11 flag display on the UW-L campus has been constructed in the shape of a cross. Although I’m not sure what the students who put up the flags are attempting to convey with this particular design, I also would like to remind everyone that UW-L is a state and federally supported institution and as such we do not endorse any particular religion. The divesity(sic) of views we hold is one of the most basic strengths of our country—something the terrorists sought to attack on this day 12 years ago. But our principles and spirit remain strong and we are free to commerate(sic) 9/11 in any manner that we choose today. I hope you’ll join me in doing so.
According to Ben Buehler, the clubs’ co-chair, the conservative students made a cross because they believe, like the founding fathers, the United States is, “one nation, under God.”
Hannah Bresson, a co-chair of the club, tweeted emphatically, “We are one nation UNDER GOD, indivisible regardless. #NeverForget.”