9-11 Display Trashed at Occidental College
Occidental College, Los Angeles – A special display of 2,997 flags planted by the Occidental College Republican Club to honor the victims of 9-11 was trashed (literally) late Saturday night. When the students who put them up found them, the flags had been trashed, or snapped in half, and a rebuttal note placed near where they were uprooted.
The “Never Forget” display was sponsored by College Republican National Committee and Young Americans for Freedom.
Students from all backgrounds worked hard to plant the flags around their quad for the display. But at 12 a.m. on Sunday morning, vandals has taken “every single flag” out of the ground and crushed or snapped them in half. They left a note intended to shame the victims of 9-11.
That note read:
“R.I.P. the 2,996 Americans who died in 9/11. R.I.P. the 1,455,590 innocent Iraqis who died during the U.S. invasion for something they didn’t do.”
Fifteen of the Republican students were still awake at 1 a.m., and gathered the flags out of the trash to put them back up in the quad. They were determined to honor the victims of 9-11 in spite of the vandalism.
Later, as a few of the students stood guard over the memorial, 4 Occidental students came up and snapped flags “right in our faces.” When they were confronted, they ran.
The vandalism was not over, and by morning students awakened to hundreds of flags “kicked and smashed.” The students reported that about 50 flags were back in the trash. They did ask that Occidental students respect the display for the remainder of the time it was in the quad.
They stated that every time anyone vandalized the display, they would replant it…an expression of determination.
When the club posted the incident on their Facebook Page, the angry responses caused them to post the following:
“We understand people are frustrated and angry. But please, refrain from racist remarks. That serves no justice. This memorial was meant to remember those who fell and that post was created to show that students at this school tried to erase the message of remembrance we tried to send out.” Occidental College Republican Club
Honor and Respect
Tragedy struck America on 9-11-2001. For those of us who were on duty that day, no matter how far away we were from New York or DC, the sight on TV of the towers falling and the Pentagon burning are etched into our hearts. We could almost feel the horror of those who died as the buildings collapsed.
Having someone trash the Republican Club’s remembrance is wholly unacceptable.
The college stated “The right and freedom to debate complex, contentious issues and disagree with each other is fundamental to what we do at Oxy. At the same time, we may not express ourselves in ways that prevent others from engaging in protected speech.”
The September 11th attacks should not be a “complex issue” for debate.
The perpetrators of the tragedy intended to kill, and that’s the bottom line. Honoring the victims and those who tried to save them is important. Thank you, Occidental College Republican Club, for your determination to do just that.
“Today, our fellow citizens, our way of life, our very freedom came under attack in a series of deliberate and deadly terrorist acts. The victims were in airplanes or in their offices: secretaries, business men and women, military and federal workers, moms and dads, friends and neighbors. Thousands of lives were suddenly ended by evil, despicable acts of terror.” President G.W. Bush