A crowd of 100 gathered around a granite block baking in the noonday sun.
They stared at the name “Harry Glenn” in silence.
It’s been 12 years since N.C. Central University campus lost the class of ’83 grad to fallen Tower 1 of the World Trade Center, but to some of his former classmates at the campus 9/11 remembrance ceremony Wednesday, it still feels fresh.
In the Hoey Administration Circle at noon, NCCU policemen marched down the brick drive with the colors, the American flag rippling in the soft breeze. A man sang the “Our Father” prayer, causing some students walking from class to stop and listen to the echo of his melody.
In the shadow of the James E. Shepard founder statue, Chancellor Debra Saunders-White took her turn at the podium.
“More than 3,000 daughters, sons, mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, family members and friends lost their lives after this world’s most brazen act of terrorism,” she said.
She spoke of Glenn as NCCU’s “Fallen Eagle,” a man from Harlem who came to NCCU to seek out a dream. He studied business, met his wife at NCCU, and he would later go on to work at Marsh and McLennan as an assistant vice president of software management.
His office was on the 97th floor of Tower 1.
“Harry had gone to work as he normally did, and on that day, God had a different plan,” Saunders-White said.
Taps played as Michael Page, NCCU’s Campus Ministry chaplain, and Valita Holmes looked down at Glenn’s memorial. They were both classmates of his, in the class of ’83.
He was quiet, easy-going, they said. He spent more time studying than socializing, due to his determination to succeed in school and later on in his career.
“We can continue to lift him up and his name, and remember him as a Fallen Eagle,” Page said.
While Glenn was a husband and father when the towers were hit, NCCU student body President Stefan Weathers was only in the fourth grade, watching the devastation on the TV in his classroom.
It was a beautiful day, Weathers said. Their elementary school classroom was neat, tidy. But that perfect vision crumbled at the sight of the burning towers.
“There are times in our lives where our comforts are shattered,” Weathers said. “… That could have been any of us that fateful day.
“We’re here today so that through us, they can live on.”