On September 11, 2015, Roslyn Espiritu — a senior psychology major — stood among peers at the Wolfe University Center as they honored the lives lost 14 years ago by writing notes saying how they would remember the attack. Two years ago, she joined Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) at FIU and soon after, signed up for the National Guard.
“I love our nation,” she said.
Espiritu was in third grade when terrorists hijacked four airplanes and crashed them into the World Trade Center in New York City, the Pentagon and a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Nearly 3,000 people died, including police officers, firefighters, paramedics, and other first responders who tried to save victims of the attacks. She recalls her mother picking her up from school, which was out of the ordinary.
“I usually take the bus home,” she said. “But, my mom picked me up and started crying. When I got home and saw the news, I thought, I know those towers!”
Espiritu is no stranger to military life. She is a third generation service member, though the first to serve in the United States. This summer, she visited The National World War II Museum in New Orleans to learn about changing technologies in the military. While there, an exhibit also featured a twisted piece of metal from the World Trade Center.
“I touched it and it was so hard,” she said as her hands reached out and recreated the moment. “I was amazed. It must have been so hot for the actual metal to bend the way it was.”
While she may have never had the chance to visit the World Trade Center before the attacks, she certainly plans to make an impact on the country she loves.
“It’s good that FIU supports this and still wants to remember,” she said. “We can’t forget. So many people lost their lives, even rescuers who were trying to save other human beings. That’s our nature – to help each other in times of need. We have to give strength to our youth and FIU encourages that, from both campuses.”
The Campus Life at Biscayne Bay Campus office helped coordinate the event, which also collected donations for Miami Veteran Affairs Healthcare System. To view photos from the event, visit their Facebook page.