Spirit of compassion key part of 9/11 Remembrance Day


By Joe Shearer, Contributor

Tragedies are remembered and paid tribute to in many different ways.
Last Wednesday, around 100 students from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, Metropolitan Community College and North High School honored the memories of those affected during the horrific attacks on Sept.11, 2001 by volunteering throughout the Omaha community. The 9/11 Remembrance Day service event was sponsored by UNO’s Office of Civic & Social Responsibility, which hosts much of the University’s community volunteer opportunities like Three Days of Service, SummerWorks Omaha and more.
Teams of students were bused to three different locations throughout the city where they spent the morning and early afternoon with improvement projects.
The outside grounds of Lothrop Elementary School were beautified with a landscaping makeover, with a 9/11 all-school ceremony that followed.  The UNO-owned Chili Greens fields were prepped for an upcoming cross-country meet, and at a Habitat for Humanity site in South Omaha, dust and debris clouded the air as students demolished the interior of a house set to be rehabbed.
Sept. 11 is a day often filled with an outpouring of emotion from the public, with many thoughtful gestures being extended. Volunteers at the 9/11 Remembrance Day were happy to show their support by giving their time and effort to improve the community.
 “It just feels really good to help out,” said Monika Preciad, a freshman broadcasting student at UNO. “I’ve always done volunteer work in the past. When I heard about the [service day] I was more than happy to help out.”
While the sentiment was apparent and most-likely appreciated, others noted another idea: You don’t need an excuse to volunteer.
“Any given day for me is a day to give,” said Queen Esther Tucker, UNO student and Metropolitan Community College volunteer coordinator. “When anybody takes time to do anything charitable, it’s always good to know. It’s great knowing that there are people out there that want to give back.”
For more information about the Office of Civic & Social Responsibility call 402-554-4083, email unoserve@unomaha.edu or visit unomaha.edu/scls. The next community service events are the Fall Volunteer Fair on Oct. 10 and Three Days of Service, which takes place during UNO’s fall break on Oct. 19, 21 and 22.