By Briana SmithSTAFF WRITER
“Hi guys. I’m fine. Don’t worry about me. I am going to call you right away.”
This message was the last time Doris Mardovich heard from her son, Edward Joseph Mardovich, a 1983 Hofstra alumnus, on Sept. 11, 2001.
Doris and her husband began that day in St. Paul’s church for their wedding anniversary, when the priest told them a plane crashed into the World Trade Center. After hearing the plane had hit only the North Tower, she was relieved, as her son was located in the South Tower on the 84th floor as the President of Euro Brokers, Maxcor Financial Inc., an international brokerage firm.
Seconds after, they were informed the South Tower was targeted, and they hurried home, only to see the tower crumble little-by-little on their television. That is how the Mardovich’s spent their wedding anniversary – grieving the loss of their “handsome, wonderful and smart” son.
“He had four children and a beautiful wife,” said Mardovich. “For the 42 years, he did an awful lot with his life, but he had such a future.”
Hofstra University students, faculty, staff and Hofstra alumni’s parents, like Doris, were invited to the Hofstra Labyrinth on Thursday, Sept. 11 at noon, to commemorate the 13th anniversary of 9/11, and honor all of those who were lost in the attacks. It was especially important to honor the 26 Hofstra alumni and one student that were lost in the attacks.
The Office of Student Leadership and Activities (OSLA) has coordinated the event since 2002. The ceremony included the “Presentation of the Colors” by the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC), remarks from President Stuart Rabinowitz and a moment of silence. Towards the closing of the service, the names of those who were lost among the Hofstra family were read and 27 roses were placed on a memorial wreath.
Hofstra University holds these ceremonies every year along with other activities for students, faculty and staff to participate in remembrance of the tragic day.
“This year, we had a student group, Hofstra Emergency Medical Education Club (HEMEC) have a name reading ceremony in the Student Center atrium to honor the first responders who died on 9/11,” said Jarryn Mercer, the assistant director of OSLA.
On Saturday, Sept. 6, OSLA hosted an Explore Next Door (END) trip to visit the 9/11 Memorial at Ground Zero for first-year and new transfer students.
“The students who went on the END trip loved the trip,” said Megan Sniffin, a graduate assistant of OSLA. “They loved the experience, and they were able to have their own memorial and remembrance of the event.”
Last year, OSLA and Student Government Association (SGA) organized an event where students could place American flags inside an outlined border of the United States map, outside of Brower Hall. They were allowed to inscribe a message on the flags they planted.
“I partook in this event last year, and thought it was a great and unique way to pay tribute to our lost heroes,” said junior journalism major Angela Carucci, who also attended the ceremony this year.
“I’m proud to be an American,” she said. “I believe that even if you aren’t from New York, you can understand the tragedy. After 9/11, every American became a New Yorker.”
Another student, junior journalism major Danielle Santucci, joined the memorial for the second year.
“I think we should have more events, because not everyone can attend the memorial service,” Santucci said. “Maybe we should have more than one service.”
Whether students were in first grade or twelfth grade, on that tragic day, everyone has their own memory of 9/11.
Carucci was sitting in her second grade classroom when she saw the smoky air and burned papers near her school building. When she went to her home in Brooklyn, she could see the devastating view of debris from the Twin Towers outside of her window.
“I remember sitting in my classroom and there being complete silence, and you could see the fear in the teachers faces,” she said. “My mom took me and my brothers out of school early that day. No one knew if we were next.”
Different from Carucci, Mercer was in her sophomore year of high school when she was dismissed early from class that day.
“I went home and turned on the news, and it was a feeling of confusion and not realizing how bad it was until more time had passed,” she said. “Everyone will always remember what they were doing on Sept. 11, 2001.”
Everyone has their personal recollection, but they all gather for the same reasons–to mourn, to honor and to remember the thousands of people who lost their lives and were unable to return to their families and loved ones that day. They also remember the hundreds of people who survived one of the most catastrophic events in American history.
Madovich said her son loved Hofstra and, “got a lot [out] of being at Hofstra.” She spends every Sept. 11th at Hofstra’s ceremony and other ceremonies to remember her son.
“It is a very difficult time,” she said. “They say it gets easier, but they don’t know what they’re talking about. It’s like it happened today.”
Although he is not physically here, Madovich mentioned she could feel that “he is very much around.”
“[All] every mother wants for their children is to be a success,” she said before she departed the Labyrinth, with tears forming in her eyes. “He was a success. I miss him terribly.”