Dear Colleagues,

On Monday, our university and city came together to pay tribute to the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice and to those who served our country in the wake of the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

I believe the Patriot Day ceremony helps us remember three important elements. First, it helps us remember those who lost their lives in the airplanes, in the towers and on the ground. Secondly, it helps us remember the heroism of the first responders — many of whom lost their lives, particularly in the World Trade Center. Thirdly, it reminds us of the freedom we have as Americans to pursue our dreams. The attacks that day were attacks on that freedom. We must remain vigilant and be ready to respond when our freedoms are under siege.

MU tribute during Patriot Day 2023
It was an honor to welcome Mizzou’s ROTC branches, the City Honor Guard, the Fire Department, Columbia Police Department, Mizzou Student Veterans Association, Mizzou Military Veterans Alumni Association, Fire and Rescue, MU Police Department, and Missouri Task Force One for Monday’s Patriot Day ceremony.

At noon on Sept. 11, 2001, Missouri Task Force 1 was activated and 62 brave men and women from across the state left their homes, friends and family to deploy to New York City. Missouri Task Force 1 spent 10 days scouring the rubble that once was the World Trade Center complex for survivors. The following 17 local personnel deployed to New York City on 9/11 and were honored at the ceremony on Monday:

  • Craig Bratton
  • Carter Blumeyer
  • Monty Conrow
  • Les Crews
  • Kurt Doolady
  • Larry Duncan
  • Phil Goode
  • Paul Harris
  • Ted Kettlewell
  • Chuck Leake
  • Dean Martin
  • Steven McLane
  • Cathy Schiltz
  • Matt Schofield
  • Lee Turner
  • Doug Westhoff
  • Steve Winters
MU Patriot Day ceremony 2023
It was a privilege to speak at the Patriot Day ceremony on Monday to recognize the bravery and patriotism of our nation’s first responders.

As a university leader and a veteran, I was honored to speak during this solemn ceremony alongside City of Columbia Mayor Barbara Buffaloe. It was an opportunity for our campus and our community to come together for this time of reflection. I was glad to be surrounded by so many veterans who attended the event. But it also was a reminder that you do not need to be a veteran to be a patriot. We are all patriots.

It is fitting that we remember 9/11 at Missouri’s flagship state-supported university. It is at state-supported universities where the American dream is pursued by millions every day so that they can obtain higher education and improve their lives and their community.

MU Patriot Day ceremony 2023
Monday’s event was a solemn reminder that there are those all around us willing to make the ultimate sacrifice so that the rest of us can enjoy peace.

Our memories of 9/11 are going to live with us for the rest of our lives. It is important to note that many of our students who attended the remembrance ceremony were not born yet on 9/11 or were infants. They, too, must continue to be aware of 9/11 and this solemn remembrance. We must remember not only those who lost their lives that day, but also what it means to be an American in a society that embraces freedom.


Rick Barohn, MD
Executive Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs and Hugh E. and Sarah D. Stephenson Dean, School of Medicine