Honoring those who serve others

Sheriff encourages students, first responders at event


Kelly Feng / Clarion

Flags decorated Lussier Plaza outside the Health Education Building on the Madison College Truax Campus in recognition of the September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance.

Kelly Feng, Managing Editor

Twenty-one years ago, all of our lives changed forever. While many of Madison College’s students weren’t born, most people alive on Sept. 11 clearly remember that day. We remember where we were and when the planes came crashing into the Twin Towers, the Pentagon and Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Maybe we were in grade school, and the teachers made an announcement. Some people may remember having small children and struggling with how to tell them about the events that transpired. Everybody has different memories of that terrible day.
Madison College held a ceremony last Friday to pay tribute to the people who died and the first responders during the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Dane County Sheriff Kalvin Barrett speaks at the Day of Remembrance and Service ceremony held at the Protective Services Center.
Dane County Sheriff Kalvin Barrett speaks at the Day of Remembrance and Service ceremony held at the Protective Services Center. (Kelly Feng / Clarion)

Sponsored by the School of Protective Services, Center for Student Life, Volunteer Center and Phi Theta Kappa, the Day of Remembrance and Service ceremony was held at the Truax campus Protective Services Center. The event included remarks from guest speaker and Dane County Sheriff Kalvin Barrett.
In addition to fulfilling his duties as Dane County Sheriff, Barrett has been an instructor at the college for the past 1O years, teaching various courses in Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement, from Defense and Arrest Tactics to teaching classes in Criminal Justice.
Sheriff Barrett’s memories of that tragic day are harrowing. The sheriff’s aunt was on the 100th floor in the first tower when the first plane struck. While she evacuated the building alive, she eventually died from the burns she sustained. The memory of his aunt is embedded into Barrett’s mind.
“I think about her on a daily basis as I serve as the sheriff. And I think about her son Eddie, who was my age and is still going on today without his mother,” Sheriff Barrett said.
Barrett said the work of those first responders constantly affects his work and the families of everyone impacted by the attacks are continuously in his thoughts and prayers.
“What happened that day will forever be seared in our memories,” he said.
“The pain, the terror, the tragedies, but also the tremendous displays of courage that were done by everyday citizens and first responders.”
Director of Student Life Renee Alfano, working with the Volunteer Center and Phi Theta Kappa, helped to coordinated the event.
Alfano talked about the event, saying it was the students who wanted to do something special for the National Day of Service and Remembrance.
The students from Phi Theta Kappa did the “remembrance” part by placing signs through the campus urging students to remember the people killed that day.
Alfano said the Volunteer Center felt this was a way to encourage and honor the students who are studying to be first responders saying, “We know it’s a profession that takes a special kind of person.”
Alfano was proud to be part of the student-driven event, saying the combination of volunteers and Phi Theta Kappa members had worked all week to produce this special day.
“It’s always an amazing event. It always inspires me, regardless of who the speaker is. I think it was extra special this year because Kalvin is also a faculty member,” the she said. “I thought it was an added touch because he knows a lot of these students, and he can relate to what they’re going to be doing in the future and what they’re currently doing,” Alfano said.
Barrett encouraged the audience to remember those who died the in the attack and those who died from diseases caused by ongoing exposure to Ground Zero.
Later he took to social media to thank the college for allowing him to speak, thanking the first responders in training and the faculty who attended, saying, “The students were all bright-eyed and ready to start a career of service. Our future is in good hands.”