William & Mary

W&M's Queens' Guard prepares for 9/11 remembrance

  • Preparations
    Preparations  W&M ROTC cadets and members of the Queens' Guard go over written details for the Sept. 11 remembrance ceremony that will be held at the top of the steps of the Sunken Garden this Sunday.  Photo by Justin K. Thomas
  • At Attention
    At Attention  W&M ROTC cadets and members of the Queens' Guard practice marching maneuvers for the Sept. 11 remembrance ceremony that will be held at the top of the steps of the Sunken Garden this Sunday.  Photo by Justin K. Thomas
  • Marching Along
    Marching Along  Jacob Shusterman '19 (left) and Nicholas Best '17 of the Queens' Guard discuss marching maneuvers with each other at a practice for the upcoming Sept. 11 remembrance ceremony.  Photo by Justin K. Thomas
  • Finishing Touches
    Finishing Touches  W&M ROTC cadets and members of the Queens' Guard practice marching maneuvers for the Sept. 11 remembrance ceremony that will be held at the top of the steps of the Sunken Garden this Sunday.  Photo by Justin K. Thomas
  • Inspection Ready
    Inspection Ready  Jacob Shusterman '19 of the Queens' Guard prepares his beret to be inspection-ready by shaving loose ends off of it.  Photo by Justin K. Thomas
  • Getting Ready
    Getting Ready  Hayley Burton '19 (left) and Audrey Lloyd '19 of W&M's Queens' Guard don their berets to ensure proper fitting.  Photo by Justin K. Thomas
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It has been 15 years since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, a day that forever changed this country.

William & Mary’s ceremonial honor guard and military fraternity, the Queens’ Guard, will mark the anniversary Sunday by placing and guarding a memorial wreath at the top of the steps of the Sunken Garden.

The memorial will begin at 8:46 a.m. and last until 3 p.m. Also, the Wren Building’s bell will toll four times, once for each of the planes that were involved in the attacks.

According to Nicholas Best ’17, the guard’s commanding officer, the remembrance is an occasion to reflect and bond with others.

“Sept. 11 is a somber event that has changed my life,” said Best. “It is one of the most galvanizing incidents ever to happen to our country. This is the reason why I have decided to be a part of something much larger than myself.”

That feeling of connection also resides in other students too, including Emily Schaal ’17, a mathematics and economics major who feels that this commemoration respects those killed in the tragedy.

“The Queens’ Guard holds this event in remembrance and to honor the lives that were lost; this is important to me as well,” said Schaal. “Volunteering is also another way that I can help support the organization.”

In addition to the guard posting the wreath, members of the College Republicans and Young Democrats student organizations will contribute to the solemn event by working together to place miniature American flags that will symbolize each victim throughout the Sunken Garden.

Seven William & Mary alumni died in the Sept. 11 attacks: Alysia Christine Burton Basmajian ’00, James Lee “Jimmy” Connor ’85, Michael Hardy Edwards ’90, Mark Gavin “Lud” Ludvigsen ’91, Christopher William Murphy MBA ’98, James Brian Reilly ’98 and Gregory J. Trost ’97.

While the Queens’ Guard remembers the tragedy, its members also have hope — hope that, as Colin Kelly ’17 believes, the collective global community can live in peace.

“I hope we never have to experience a tragedy like that ever again,” said Kelly. “But mostly I hope we can eliminate the hatred that caused such terrible attacks in the first place.”