MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — A special twist of utilizing the University Honors College bell tower bells tolling at specific times will be part of the ninth annual 9/11 Remembrance at Middle Tennessee State University.
The public is invited to attend the ceremony, which is free and will be held at 7:30 a.m. Monday, Sept. 11, at the Veterans Memorial outside the Tom H. Jackson Building, 628 Alma Mater Drive. Parking and the building location will be on the west side of campus near Middle Tennessee Boulevard.
The 9/11 Remembrance, coordinated by the Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center, will commemorate the 22nd anniversary of a series of four coordinated terrorist suicide attacks by the extremist group al-Qaida on U.S. landmarks, which occurred Sept. 11, 2001.
An idea suggested by Robin Lee, a veteran and Honors College strategic communications specialist, bells will toll at 7:46 a.m., followed by 8:03, 8:37 and 9:03 — “moments of actual impact,” said Hilary Miller, Daniels Center director. “We will be silent during the 7:46 tolling, which will happen during the remembrance — a Connection Point activity, so, hopefully, we will have more student involvement.”
Guest speaker will be Andrew Oppmann, MTSU vice president of Marketing and Communications, whose relatives serve and have served in the military and who currently serves as an Army Reserve Ambassador.
Keith M. Huber, MTSU’s senior adviser for veterans and leadership initiatives, and retired U.S. Army lieutenant general who served in Afghanistan from July 2011 to July 2013, said “our 9/11 Remembrance ceremony serves as a solemn historical reminder of this horrific terrorist attack. It provides a harsh clarity to the fact that we still face enemies who would attempt to steal our freedoms and harm our families.
“Let us never forget that our nation is full of faithful, selfless people who are willing to give their lives for others.”
The program will include welcome remarks from Huber; the singing of the national anthem by Recording Industry adjunct faculty member Jamie Teachenor, who wrote the lyrics to the U.S. Space Force song; prayer and a moment of silence; the reading of the 9/11 timeline by MTSU ROTC cadets and faculty; and the playing of taps by Robert Aanerud.
Oppmann, a former reporter and newspaper executive, came to MTSU in 2010. His grandfather and father were combat veterans in World War I and World War II, respectively, with additional family members serving in the military. He was named Army Reserve Ambassador by the Commanding General of that force in 2020.
As an ambassador, Oppmann has nominated students to receive Minuteman Scholarships, allowing them to attend MTSU and other universities with tuition and other benefits in exchange for service as a commissioned officer in the Army Reserve.