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USC to remember 9/11 with observance at Saturday’s football game

The USC-Stanford matchup includes a salute to military and first responders; limited tailgating also returns to the University Park Campus.

USC players mark the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in 2011
Players mark the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks before USC’s football game Sept. 10, 2011. (Photo/ZUMA/Alamy Stock Photo)

The Trojans will open Pac-12 conference play on Sept. 11, the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and they’ll recognize the event with a salute to the fallen, first responders and the military.

The commemoration will take place Saturday at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum before USC plays Stanford.

“Though two decades have passed since the 9/11 attacks, it is important that we never forget the profound impact of that moment in history for our country,” President Carol L. Folt said.

“The entire Trojan Family honors those who lost their lives in the attacks, the first responders who heroically rushed to the scenes and the men and women who have served in our armed forces in the conflicts that followed. Your sacrifice and bravery are an inspiration to us all and embody the very best of the American spirit.”

Members of the USC Reserve Officers Training Corps will join veterans, first responders, the color guard and Trojan Marching Band on the field for the playing of “Taps.” A video acknowledgement of 9/11 will follow, along with the introduction of the student veteran of the game and 20 seconds of silence in honor of the 20 years since the tragedy.

USC’s links to the U.S. armed forces stretch at least as far back as World War I when the university served as a training school for U.S. Army officers. During World War II, it hosted U.S. Army, Marine Corps and Navy training programs. Its first Reserve Officers Training Corps program started in 1940, a relationship that stands through this day. Today, besides supporting future military members, USC offers academic and support programs for veterans as well.

It is important that we never forget the profound impact of that moment in history for our country.

Carol L. Folt

The University Park Campus is also home to a 9/11 memorial, which includes a piece of steel from the World Trade Center. The artifact, donated to USC by the Fire Department of New York and the September 11th Families’ Association, is displayed outside the Department of Public Safety’s headquarters on McClintock Avenue.

In addition to the solemn commemoration, the Sept. 11 game will mark the return of a longstanding tradition: tailgating, but on a limited scale to safeguard the health and safety of our campus community. Following consultation with medical experts, the university will reduce campus tailgating density for this Saturday to about 25% of a typical game day by limiting activities to those who have been permitted through our tailgating reservation system.

A number of campus protocols and access restrictions will remain in place in order to protect our students, faculty and staff, and the university’s core mission of education, research and service:

  • There will be no walk-up tailgating on campus; if you are not attending a registered tailgate, we respectfully ask that you find another location for your pre-game celebration. Fans should visit USC‘s game day website for details on how to obtain a permit and other rules.
  • The campus will open for permitted tailgating beginning at 1:30 p.m. Saturday; no tailgating activities, including set-up, will be allowed before that time. (Game time is 7:30 p.m.)
  • To enter campus, all guests must comply with Trojan Check and may be asked to show proof of attending a permitted tailgate or valid game ticket.
  • There are no changes to pre-game activities at the Coliseum or Exposition Park.
  • Students, faculty and staff who need to access campus that day for work, study or classes must complete Trojan Check as usual.

As a reminder, due to an order from the L.A. County Department of Public Health, all fans will be required to wear a face covering, regardless of vaccination status, at on-campus tailgate activities and at the Coliseum for the game. Facial coverings may be briefly removed while actively eating or drinking. This is a requirement for all events and venues in Los Angeles with more than 10,000 attendees, so we respectfully ask for your compliance.

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