Sept. 11, 2001 is a date that lives in the memories of Americans everywhere, including students here at USF. To commemorate the event with a memorial is a good idea — just not for $50,000.
Student Government will meet on July 22 to determine the budget for the proposed Sept. 11 memorial. It would be advisable for SG to take a few other things into consideration about the memorial besides the cost.
The attacks seemed to impact everyone in one way or another and they are still fresh in the minds of most. But Sept. 11 can be remembered in other ways that aren’t so expensive. At a time like this, when budgets are tight, students must ask their representative senators, “Why now?”
In addition to this, there were no USF students who were physically harmed by the attacks. Had any of the victims been USF students or alumni, it would be understandable that their memories be honored. The victims of the attacks are certainly significant. However, there might be more effective ways of commemorating them than to spend $50,000 on a few slabs of marble placed in a seldom-trod part of campus.
In honor of the attacks’ anniversary last September, students were encouraged to decorate colorful flags with inspiring messages in the Cooper Hall Breezeway. The cost of this commemoration was significantly less than $50,000 and was definitely more fitting and heartfelt.
If this memorial is for the students, then they should be more involved in its creation. There are numerous art students on campus that would jump at the opportunity to utilize their skills for a good cause. Maybe they could combine their skills in designing a mural on one of the many bare walls this campus has. Simply planting one or more trees and dedicating them would also be more personal than a pricey stone.
Roughly 20 years after his death, the Martin Luther King memorial was erected here on campus to honor the significance he had for students nationwide. It is important not to forget such historical figures. It is equally as important not to forget the Sept. 11 victims, but the memory of the terrorist attacks are perhaps still too recent to allow the perspective necessary to choose an appropriate memorial.
It is laudable that SG wishes to memorialize Sept. 11, but to simply erect a pricey display without consulting the USF community on how they want to remember Sept. 11 is inappropriate.