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Sunday, September 11, 2016

Never Forget: Second Life Residents Honor the Victims and Commemorate the 15th Anniversary of 9/11 by Lilya Luv






9/11 Memorial - Always Remember, Never Forget


Today marks the 15th anniversary of  9/11 and Second Life’s residents are honoring and the victims throughout the grid. Memorial services and tributes of remembrance honoring the nearly 3,000 people killed in the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 at the World Trade Center site, near Shanksville, Pa., and at the Pentagon, as well as the six people killed in the World Trade Center bombing in February 1993 will happen today.


We speak with three organizers to find out why these memorial services mean to them and why it should be important to us: Bryston Vanvleck, founder of 9/11 Memorial - Always Remember, Never Forget; Ethan MacAlpin, owner of Highlands of Scotland; and Geena Zackerly-Magic of 911 Memorial on Stagg Island.


What is your motivation for creating this memorial?
Bryston: Back in 2008 I decided to hold a small memorial in my NYC Loft & Apartment store and was surprised by the number of visitors and the outpouring of emotions that day. Each year I added a few more items until finally I created a stand alone memorial. Today I am proud to be hosting this event for the 8th year. My hope is to make sure no one ever forgets the people who lost their lives on 9/11 and to always remember the heroes who displayed extraordinary acts of courage. It's why I named my 9/11 Memorial Always Remember, Never Forget.


Ethan: I originally created the memorial in 2011 for the 10th anniversary of 9/11. The town I helped manage had a town square and we thought it would be a nice thing to have to contribute our own [a virtual memorial] memorial to all those going on in the real world. The two towers, encircled by a pentagon seemed to be appropriate.


Geena: This memorial is the second rendition of Stagg Island's 911 Memorial. It was modernized to imitate the grounds in Manhattan. Fazio Magic, the creator wanted to make it look more like the footprints with the waterfalls that now sit where the buildings once stood.



Effigy at 9/11 Memorial - Always Remember, Never Forget

What can we expect tomorrow at your event tomorrow?
Bryston: Tears... lots of tears and stories from people who lost loved ones on 9/11. Others like to discuss what they were doing that day and how those horrible events affected them. I have many that come and just stare out the window at the Twin Towers, dreaming about what used to be. It's an emotional day for all of us.

Always Remember, Never Forget is an all day event with moment of silences being observed at the following EST times:

8:46 a.m. (5:46 am SLT): Flight 11 crashes into the North Tower (1 World Trade Center.)
9:03 a.m. (6:03 am SLT): Flight 175 crashes into the South Tower (2 World Trade Center)
9:37 a.m. (6:37 am SLT): Flight 77 crashes into the Pentagon, near Washington, D.C.
9:59 a.m. (6:59 am SLT): The South Tower (2 World Trade Center) collapses.

10:03 a.m. (7:03 am SLT): Flight 93 crashes into an empty field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

10:28 a.m. (7:28 am SLT): The North Tower (1 World Trade Center) collapses.

Ethan: We have weekly church services in the Highlands of Scotland with a different speaker each week. Since it was my Sunday and it fell on the anniversary of the event, I felt I should include a memorial part of the service. It will be a regular church service but during that time we will have a brief remembrance of those who perished and mark the 15th anniversary of the event.

The memorial service will start at 9:30 am SLT.

Geena: We will have at least 3 services today. The services are very moving with many parts. We will also have the military represented in uniform standing guard.

8:00 a.m. SLT
2:00 p.m. SLT
6:00 p.m. SLT




9/11 Memorial statue at Highlands of Scotland

What would be the main take away for your visitors?
Bryston: Remembrance and reflection. Never forgetting how that day changed the world forever.

Ethan: To remember those who lost their lives that day and to pray for a world where peace and love for our fellow human beings will triumph over war and hatred.

Geena: The 911 Memorial is dedicated to all Second life residents. I want them to know this will always be here for them to come visit and reflect. Many will come here tomorrow and talk amongst themselves about where they were that day. Many have come looking for their loved ones name on our wall.  It's a very emotionally moving day.


The 9/11 memorial on Stagg Island was created to be like a replica of the grounds in Manhanttan

What is the importance of this event to you?
Bryston: Always Remember, Never Forget is an extremely important event to me. I wanted to create a space where people could come and reflect upon the events of 9/11. Make them feel an array of emotions from sadness to anger. It is important to never forget the precious lives that were lost and the families that were torn apart forever, but also to recognize the evil that caused it and to always remain vigilant. Terrorism plagues the world of today and we must all come together to fight and destroy this evil.

Ethan: As a former firefighter, I, like many others, were deeply affected by the losses that day, especially from so many servants of the public who bravely ran toward the buildings when others ran from them. If my memorial monument and my words can honour them in any way I am very glad to play a small part in making sure they are not forgotten.

Geena: It is very moving and I strongly encourage all Second Life residents to come to one of the services. This memorial means everything to me and Faz. It was his vision and it will stand as long as we can leave it up.

You can visit each of the follow memorials tomorrow at the following locations:
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