Where were you on September 11, 2001?

I was in Fort Collins, Colorado making my first road trip as a new member of the Executive Offices staff.  On September 7th, I had made only the second commercial flight of my life. On the 12th I was scheduled to fly from Denver to Spokane.  As the tragedies of September 11th unfolded, I sat in the living room of now Foundation Trustee Cliff Unger, Arizona ’98 riveted to the news, experiencing a multitude of thoughts and emotions.

Many of our current undergraduate brothers were too young to recall where they were on that fateful day. To them, it is history.

Two brothers of Phi Kappa Tau were among the thousands of people killed in the terrorist attacks on that September morning. For them, it was their passing into Chapter Eternal.

Philip Lacey “Phil” Parker, Muhlenberg ’66, and Peter Edward Mardikian, Ohio State ’92, were working in the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11, 2001, when two commercial jets were piloted by terrorists into the North and South Towers. Two seemingly common men doing a common day’s work who will be remembered forever.  We again send our fond remembrance, heartfelt prayers, and fraternal love to our departed brothers and ask for God’s good grace to their family and friends.

Where we were individually on September 11, 2001, is not as important as where we are together today. On this fifteenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on our Nation, we remember the passing of our departed brothers, all the heroes of 9/11, and the loss of the America we knew. We are consoled with the healing of time and love. We have learned the reality of vulnerability as we courageously navigate the course ahead in America and the world. As brothers, we take a stand – with so many others – against hatred and fear, by being part of something bigger for the better of all.

On behalf of the National Council and Executive Offices – and to pay respect to these brothers and to all of the nearly 3,000 victims of September 11th – we encourage all undergraduates at chapters and colonies to participate in the Phi Kappa Tau September 11th Remembrance Ceremony during their upcoming chapter meeting. Let us never forget.