This week, USC students will honor the memory of the more than 3,000 lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001 by participating in a national week of service.
"9/11 service week is an initiative that is actually a national initiative going on across the country," said Karina Sumano, who organized the events. "We're bringing it to the University of South Carolina as an effort to engage students in general service for 9/11."
During this service week, USC students will be able to volunteer with projects such as "90 Seconds of Service," which allows students to give just a minute and a half of their time to quick and easy service projects, in addition to the larger community projects hosted throughout the week.
"This is our way of giving back, saying thank you and serving those in need right now," Sumano said.
USC has hosted many events commemorating 9/11 in the past, but Sumano believes that this will be the largest 9/11 service week to date.
"Last year they had an initiative, I don't think it was as big as it is this year," Sumano said. "Bringing it back, I know that USC does do initiatives for 9/11, but I don't think it's been to this extent of going out into the community and doing service."
The anniversary of the deadly attack on New York City, Washington, D.C. and Shanksville, Pennsylvania, is a keen reminder for emergency service workers of the role they played that day. As such, groups such as law enforcement and local fire stations will be helping to ensure these events go smoothly. Third-year business management student and volunteer firefighter Kevin O'Brien, will be one of these students.
"I think that, especially while students are here in Columbia, they should get involved and do something," O'Brien said. "I think it's a great thing if more college students would be willing to get involved."
He encourages students to get out and volunteer their time during this next week, both on and off campus.
"Whether you're running into a burning building or handing out soup to the homeless, it's all that same mentality and that same idea of 'I wanna help somebody else,'" O'Brien said. "I have a great respect for anybody that does any kind of volunteer work. You don't need to be saving lives to be an important volunteer in the community."