Queensborough Remembers 9/11
Queensborough Community College President Dr. Timothy G. Lynch, Students, Faculty and Staff today joined the office of Military and Veterans Services to place individual American flags on the College grounds in remembrance of those who lost their lives on 9/11.
Former Marine, Percy Tejeda, gently handed small star-spangled banners to passers-by on campus. He is on a personal mission to ensure that his generation does not forget what happened eighteen years ago.
“We wanted to honor and remember the unfortunate events of September 11th. We must learn about it and talk about it,” Tajeda said, as he stood near the entrance of the college, greeting students.
The 25-year-old former Lance Corporal (First Maintenance Battalion based out of Las Pulgas, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California) and Vice-President of Queensborough’s Student Veterans’ Association developed the idea for the flag installation with Queensborough graduate and fellow former Marine, Jonathan Holquin.
Queensborough’s Alexandra Venezian, Director of Office of Military and Veterans’ Affairs, and Dr. Brian Kerr, Vice President of Student Affairs, supported their combined effort.
“Jonathan and I wanted people to know that Queensborough is more than just a school. We are a community that cares deeply about our future,” said Tejeda.
Dr. Lynch said the placing of flags in the soil provided everyone with an opportunity to reflect.
“We will continue to forge a sense of community as we move forward and reach out to our colleagues and neighbors who are in need of our support.”
Directing students to the memorial site, Tejeda recalled the media coverage of 9/11, especially an image of an African-American firefighter caked in white soot from the fallout.
“Ever since that day when I was 7 and in Peru, I was in shock and have never forgotten.”
A graduate of High School for Construction Trades Engineering in Ozone Park, Tejeda hopes to build an annual 9/11 tradition at Queensborough.
“This has been successful… so many people became involved in our project and this was a big first step for us.”
At least 2977 flags were to be placed on the grounds, one for each victim who perished on 9/11. The day-long commemoration began with a moment of silence, observed by the Queensborough community, at 8:46 this morning, the moment when the first plane struck the World Trade Center North Tower.
Tejeda will graduate from Queensborough this fall with an Associate’s Degree in Business Administration.
Contact: Michael Donahue