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Remembering 9/11 - the 10th Anniversary

By Lauren F. Carlson ‘12

As a nation approaches the tenth anniversary of an event that devastated families, revealed heroes, and united Americans, the Aquinas College and Grand Rapids community seek to remember the events of September 11, 2001. The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), an organization which facilitates continued learning for the 50-and-older community in a non-credit environment, will invite Lieutenant General Thomas Plewes, U.S. Army (Retired), to the Aquinas campus for this special event.

On September 8, 2011, General Plewes will address an audience of OLLI members, students, and community members at the Aquinas College Sturrus Sports & Fitness Center. In his presentation entitled, “Remembering 9/11 – The 10th Anniversary,” General Plewes, who was in the Pentagon on that day, will discuss his unique perspective of the events of 9/11, as well as the nation’s reaction to the attack including the 9/11 Commission, the families of the fallen, and the 9/11 skeptics.

General Plewes served as Chief, Army Reserve, and Commanding General, U.S. Army Reserve Command until his retirement. He was the first three-star Army Reserve Chief. His awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit (with two Oak Leaf Clusters), the Meritorious Service Medal (with two Oak Leaf Clusters), the Army Commendation Medal, the Department of Defense Identification Badge, and the Army Staff Identification Badge. General Plewes is also a native of West Michigan, and a graduate of Hope College.

“We have someone who was the Chief of the Army Reserve and originally from the West Michigan community” said Brenda Hennink, Director of Adult Student Recruitment. “It’s a real honor to have him coming to campus, especially considering the fact that he will be presenting just a few days prior to the 10th anniversary of 9/11.”

Hennink will also host an event inviting students, faculty, and staff who are veterans or active military personnel to a special presentation and reception entitled, “The Changing and Challenging Role of the National Guard and Reserve.” On Wednesday, September 7, these members of the armed forces and the Aquinas community will have the opportunity to learn from and speak with General Plewes in a private presentation.

During the September 8 talk, the community will gain General Plewes’ educated and experienced perspective of both 9/11 the complex aftermath, while honoring a significant event in American history. For more information and ticket prices for the OLLI at Aquinas event, please visit http://www.aquinas.edu/olli or call (616) 632-2430.