The University of Virginia marked the 18th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on Wednesday in several ways, including planting small American flags across the lower terrace of the Lawn – one for each victim of the attacks.
The flags are provided each year by a student organization, Young Americans for Freedom at UVA.
Students could also visit a permanent 9/11 memorial in Newcomb Hall containing a piece of steel from one of the World Trade Center towers felled that day, one of nearly 1,700 pieces distributed by the New York Port Authority to memorials in all 50 states and seven foreign countries.
The memorial was dedicated in 2012 after Evan Davis, then a third-year student and president of the Student Association of Firefighters, EMTs and Rescue Technicians, led the effort to obtain the steel. Davis said at the time that he wanted future students without firsthand memories of the attacks – including many of today’s UVA students – to be able to make some connection to what happened.
The flag in the memorial was donated by the family of Glenn Davis Kirwin, an alumnus and Cantor Fitzgerald employee who was killed in the World Trade Center’s north tower.
Kirwin graduated from UVA in 1982. His sons, Miles and Troy, attended UVA as well. Miles Kirwin was a member of UVA’s Army ROTC, joined the U.S. Army to honor his father and now works for one of the New York Army National Guard companies that responded to the attacks 18 years ago. Troy Kirwin followed in his father’s footsteps in the finance world, working first for an investment bank in New York City and now a tech company in San Francisco.
“That day changed the course of my brother’s and my life forever,” Miles Kirwin said. “My family is very appreciative of the memorial and think it serves as a good reminder of the horrors of that awful day, and to cherish life while you have it.”
Kirwin's friends established the Glenn D. Kirwin Scholarship in Kirwin’s honor. It is awarded each year to a rising third- or fourth-year student who exhibits some of the traits that made Glenn Kirwin stand out, including leadership, determination, generosity, wisdom, original and creative thought and a passion for entrepreneurship.
Another memorial scholarship honors Patrick Sean Murphy, a 1987 alumnus also killed at the World Trade Center. The Patrick Sean Murphy 9/11 Memorial Scholarship is awarded to rising third- and fourth-year students demonstrating academic achievement, contributions to quality of student life on Grounds and qualities of leadership and citizenship envisioned by Thomas Jefferson. Murphy, a resident adviser, singer and avid pick-up basketball player, earned his degree in computer science.