BY MARISSA CASTANOS
Although Fort Hays State’s freshman class was most likely too young to remember the horrific event that took place on Tuesday morning of September 11th, 2001, members of the student body are taking action to remember those who lost their lives on that day by writing letters to servicemen and women who are currently risking their lives to make sure our lives are free.
Tigers In Service (TIS) is an initiative created by the Center for Civic Leadership here at Fort Hays. TIS is a program run by the students themselves and acts as a connection for college students who wish to pursue volunteer work with community service activities.
TIS hosts service projects on national days of service sponsors alternative breaks and works with community agencies to find volunteer opportunities. On Tuesday, September 11th, four students sat outside the Union at a booth with paper and sharpies. These students were gathering letters from other Fort Hays students to send overseas to active servicemen and women.
Carla Parra-Martinez and Anneka Sundell, both seniors at Fort Hays, started up the project of writing the letters. Although neither of them have family in the military, they both believe it is important to recognize and give gratitude to those who do not have anyone else to send them letters while overseas.
“I think it’s important especially around 9/11 because that’s one of the biggest driving factors of support, it was a great loss for the country, let alone the troops,” Sundell mentioned when asked why they decided to do a project where students could write letters to servicemen and women.
Connor Mountford and John Coldazier, both members of Tigers in Service, joined other students in writing letters and showing their support for active duty members. Coldazier mentions that since freshman students were likely only one year old when 9/11 happened, it is getting to the point where students are now looking at doing a more educational approach rather than just remembrance since younger students do not have that emotional connection with the event.
“We think it’s really important as an organization to keep drawing attention to it [9/11] and make sure they’re [servicemen and women] not forgotten,” Mountford added.
The group plans on taking the letters from last year and this year and making a care package to send to the individuals in the military who do not have family back home to support them.
The group also brought candles to light while the school’s student body president gave a small speech regarding 9/11 and why it is important to remember those who serve us each and every day.