POINT LOOKOUT, Missouri. — College of the Ozarks will honor the victims of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack with a special ceremony on September 12 at 9 a.m., at the “Lest We Forget” 9/11 Memorial, located next to the C of O Fire Department on the College of the Ozarks campus on James Forsythe Drive.
The official commemoration will be held on Monday to allow College of Ozarks and School of Ozarks students to attend and give honor and respect to those who have died in defense of this country and for the safety of its citizens. Their attendance serves as part of their educational experience.
The college invites all area emergency personnel, first responders and the general public to participate in the brief ceremony on Monday.
“This year, we are honoring those who fought in the War on Terror after 9/11,” said Bryan Cizek, director of patriotic activities.
The College will honor Special Warfare Operator Senior Chief (SEAL) Thomas Arthur Ratzlaff, who was killed when a coalition CH-47 Chinook helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan on Aug. 6, 2011. Ratzlaff was assigned to an East Coast-based Special Warfare Unit. He was on his 12th deployment in support of the War on Terror with nine previous deployments to Afghanistan and one to Iraq.
Ratzlaff is from Green Forest, Arkansas. Family members of Ratzlaff, including his mother and sister, Nancy Ann (Anderson) Ratzlaff and Julie Adams, will raise the 9/11 flag as part of the solemn ceremony.
On Sunday, Sept. 11, approximately 3,000 American flags will be displayed on the Alumni Lawn at the front entrance of the campus.
The memorial contains one of the remaining remnants of the World Trade Center structure, and the steel column is a permanent part of the memorial.
Retired police officer Tommy McHale donated the mangled piece of steel column from the World Trade Center. McHale wanted to honor the 37 fallen men and women officers from the Port Authority for New York and New Jersey who perished on 9/11.
The structure is referred to as “St. Michael’s 37.” St. Michael is considered the patron saint of police officers and represents strength to face the threat of evil and imminent danger.
For additional information, contact Bryan Cizek, director of patriotic activities, at 417-690-2232.
College of the Ozarks is a Christian, liberal arts college located on a 1,000-acre campus in Point Lookout, Missouri. Christian values, hard work, and financial responsibility comprise the fundamental building blocks of the “Hard Work U.” experience.
The Keeter Center — the College’s upscale lodge, restaurant and conference facility — was ranked the No. 1 Top Small Hotel in the United States by TripAdvisor for 2016. It features fine dining, historic lodging and meeting rooms. With more than 350 students employed in every facet of the operation, it is the largest work station on the College of the Ozarks campus.
School of the Ozarks, begun in fall 2012 for high school students, and the S. Truett Cathy Lower School, opened in fall 2014 to K-sixth grade students. Seventh and eighth grades were added in fall 2015, completing the K-college model. For information, call the public relations office at 417-690-2212 or visit www.cofo.edu.