SMU Debate Director Dr. Ben Voth and SMU Police Chief Richard Shafer delivered messages of remembrance, inspiration and strength at the 9/11 Project memorial service.
Following last year’s memorial display controversy where students fought for the right to keep the flag display on the Dallas Hall lawn, Richard Shafer expressed the importance of continuing to honor those who died in the 9/11 tragedy.
“I’d like to thank the Young Americans For Freedom. I appreciate that they have done this flag display on the Dallas Hall lawn and hope that they continue to keep up with the tradition so that we never forget those who we lost” Shafer said.
Dr. Ben Voth expanded on Shafer’s message of the importance of remembrance.
“It is important seventeen years later to remember this event that killed almost 3,000 people. It is important to remember because of the precious gift of freedom that both inspired the first responders to save lives and rescue so many, and also because freedom remains under attack world-wide,” Voth said.
Voth’s speech focused on freedom and faith. He emphasized how fighting for freedom is important now more than ever before since it is constantly under attack in the modern world.
“Freedom continues to frustrate the enemies of humanity who believe that their own prejudices ought to circumscribe human liberty.”
“The freedom of speech—our words—is paramount in my own view,” Voth said. “It is words that unleash the diabolical hatred of the 19 attackers. It is words that motivated the responses of love and sacrifice and saving the innocent that day. I believe that we ought to resolve ourselves to continue this struggle in words.”
Voth’s speech served as a reminder to people gathered at the memorial to never forget those who were lost in 9/11 and to never forget the sacrifices that Americans have made for our freedom and continue to make to this day.