On September 11, 2023, the 22nd anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, John S. Nader, PhD, president of Farmingdale State College (FSC) held a 9/11 Memorial Ceremony in the Campus Center Ballroom, which began at 9:57 a.m.  

Throughout the morning, FSC’s campus observance included bell chimes and moments of silence in remembrance of the lives lost at the following key moments: 

8:46 a.m.:  American Airlines Flight 11 hit the North Tower 

9:03 a.m.:  United Airlines Flight 175 hit the South Tower 

9:37 a.m.:  American Airlines Flight 77 hit the Pentagon, near Washington, D.C. 

9:59 a.m.:  South Tower collapsed 

10:03 a.m.: United Airlines Flight 93 crashed into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania 

10:28 a.m.: North Tower collapsed 

The somber and dignified event featured FSC’s University Police Color Guard, bagpiper Sean Murtha, and remarks from President Nader; Hon. John Brooks ‘74, former New York State Senator; Keri Hauff, inspector of Auxiliary Services, University Police; Eric Farina, director of Veterans Services, and Elijah Guzman ‘24, a Criminal Justice-LE Technology major and U.S. Marine Corps veteran. 

“Each year, I am impressed by how many members of our campus community gather for our 9/11 Memorial Ceremony,” said President Nader, who added that FSC has the largest percentage of student veterans in the State University of New York (SUNY) system. “Many of us remember where we were; who we were with. In addition to remembering, it is important to help our students remember.” 

“Over half of our students enrolled are too young a generation to remember, but they are not immune to its ripple effects,” agreed Hauff, who recalled that, “America demonstrated its best self,” in the days after the attacks.  

“Everyone’s memories are different, but some things are the same,” said Guzman who recalled watching the emergency broadcast that interrupted his childhood cartoons. “We all recognize the importance of never forgetting and the power of a unified nation.”  

“It was so long ago, but to many of us, it feels like it was just yesterday,” said Brooks, an active volunteer firefighter for more than 50 years, and veteran of the New York Army Reserve National Guard. “It’s important that we remember that day, and our families, and what it meant to us. That night we held our children tighter than we ever did,” reflected Brooks, who asked that people also think of those injured, and sickened as a result of the attacks. 

“The War on Terror is the longest and most difficult war to fight and win,” said Farina, who recently returned from a National Guard deployment in Kenya, where he protected an American base from a regional ISIS terrorist group. “As a member of FSC, one of the things our campus community hopes for is to learn [about the attacks] as well as to never forget as a nation, and as a people.” 

“In the heroism of that day, many ordinary people did extraordinary things,” said President Nader. “This morning, we know not to match hate with hate, but as Abraham Lincoln said, let’s match angels with angels. Let’s continue to reflect the better angels of our nature.” 

View more photos from FSC’s 9/11 Memorial Ceremony on our Flickr Gallery.