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Garden Dedicated to UNC Victims of 9/11

Posted September 11, 2007
Updated September 12, 2007

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— Like crowds in New York, Washington and rural Pennsylvania who marked the sixth anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, people gathered Tuesday morning in Chapel Hill to remember 9/11 victims.

Six University of North Carolina graduates died in the attacks, and the 2005 graduating class dedicated a memorial garden on campus to the victims. The garden, which features twin stone walls and a plaque with the names of the victims, is located across from Carmichael Residence Hall on Stadium Drive.

"It was a very, very powerful day," said Jovian Irvin, who had just started her freshman year at UNC in 2001 and later became president of the Class of 2005. "It definitely felt a little less exciting. It felt darker. The atmosphere wasn't the same."

Mary Lou Hague, a 1996 graduate, worked in the World Trade Center when the two towers were struck by hijacked jets.

Hague's mother, Liza Adams, said she said she talked to her daughter that morning and was assured Hague was leaving the tower. Adams said she still doesn't know exactly why her daughter didn't escape.

"She couldn't see what was happening in the other building. She just knew that there were flames and papers flying everywhere," Adams said. "You always wonder, what if, what might have happened. What might her life have been like?"

Irvin now works near Ground Zero in New York, leading a life similar to the one Hague led.

"It made this kind of national tragedy very, very real," she said.

The memorial garden ensures the six UNC alumni – Hague, 1992 graduate Karleton Douglas Beye Fyfe, 1983 graduate Andrew Marshall King, 1998 graduate Ryan Ashley Kohart, 1978 graduate Dora Menchaca and 1979 graduate Christopher Quackenbush –  will remain just as real to visitors.

Adams said the garden gives her some comfort in her loss.

"A mother's pain never ends," she said. "(But) I know that she'll be remembered."

7 Comments

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  • tarheelpoet Sep 12, 11:00 a.m.

    For those of you who question UNC's side in all this, you should know that there is a memorial to the servicemen on the campus as well, and it includes the Iraq war. UNC also holds events and has several groups supporting the troops. They honor everyone equally.

    As for the bit about UNC and Chapel Hill protesting the war at every angle, you should not be so quick to think that everyone there shares in that opinion. A closer look at the community will show you that while there are people that are opposed to the movement, there are just as many in support of the war effort. Just because the actions of one student in particular were heavily splashed over the news does not mean that the whole community shares in that opinion. You can go to any community in this country and find this kind of dichotomy.

  • pomodoroz Sep 12, 10:19 a.m.

    I'm with you, Pingman - I was wondering which side they were going to remember - the Americans who died, or their beloved jihadi.

  • elcid89 Sep 12, 8:43 a.m.

    "It's good for us to remember them and the tragity, but what about our service members that are fighting for freedom? Got anything for them?"

    Yes, it is good to remember the tragedy. As for remembering service members, ever heard of Memorial Day?

  • keiott Sep 12, 8:20 a.m.

    It's good for us to remember them and the tragity, but what about our service members that are fighting for freedom? Got anything for them?

  • pingman Sep 11, 9:34 p.m.

    Yes, a great and fitting tribute, but coming from a town and university that has protested the fight against terrorism every step of the way, kind of ironic.

  • Mr. Keeping It Real Sep 11, 7:59 p.m.

    Simply AWESOME to see the continuous acts of kindness that blossom from tragedies. God speed to all of those still healing from their loss.

  • hdvoodooqueen Sep 11, 6:43 p.m.

    May they all find peace. God bless. We have not forgotten.