While many across the country were putting up memorials in remembrance of the 9/11 terrorist attacks that changed America forever, one individual was caught taking a memorial down.
Breitbart reports that a student at Washington University (WU) in St. Louis, Missouri was caught on camera over the weekend removing thousands of American flags from a 9/11 memorial and chucking them into trash bags, apparently as a form of protest.
The incident took place at Washington University in St. Louis Missouri.
There, a conservative student organization called Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) reportedly decided to commemorate 9/11 by placing 2,977 flags, one for each individual killed in the terrorist attack, around the campus. The effort was part of the students’ “9/11 Never Forget Project.”
On Saturday, however, a different student was caught on video by Nathaniel Hope, a member of the school’s College Republicans group, taking the nearly 3,000 flags down and placing them into trash bags. The video can be seen here.
The student taking the flags down was subsequently identified by the Student Life newspaper as Fadel Alkilani, who also happens to be the Student Union Vice President of Finance at the prominent Midwestern university.
According to Hope, the student who captured the video of Alkilani removing the flags said he took the flags down to “protest against American imperialism and the 900,000 lives lost as a result of post 9/11 war.”
The university’s response
Upon learning of the incident, Julie Flory, Washington University’s Vice Chancellor for Marketing and Communications, issued a response.
“We were disappointed to learn about the disruption to the 9/11 display on Mudd Field,” Flory said, according to Breitbart. “We condemn the interference with the expression of support by the College Republicans for the victims of the national tragedy that took place 20 years ago today.”
The university itself also released its own statement, saying, “The actions surrounding this incident were not on behalf of the university or a university-sponsored organization.”
“We value freedom of expression in all forms and will work to ensure that all students are able to express their points of view through appropriate channels without disrupting the rights of others to show support for causes they care about,” the university continued. “This is a critical component of our core values and we are committed to facilitating free speech on our campus.”
It remains unclear whether Alkilani will face any discipline for his disgraceful and disrespectful actions. The university’s statement would suggest that he won’t. If there is anything good about this story, it is the fact that the flags were later replaced.