Heidelberg University and Tiffin University joined forces to commemorate the lives lost in the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks and celebrate the nation's response.
The schools hosted a remembrance service at The Ritz Theatre Friday afternoon.
Tracy Elder, chaplain for Seneca County Sheriff's Office and president of International Alliance of Chaplain Corps, reflected on visiting Ground Zero and the crash site at Shanksville, Pa., after the attacks. She recalled the group of people leaving Tiffin bound for Manhattan with supplies, money and hope.
Elder said she first was struck by the faces of the missing that were on posters around the city.
"Their faces stared at us," she said.
New Yorkers, Elder said, were organized, focused and inspiring.
"They were a force of nature," she said.
Elder said people pulled together, helped each other and shook off the dust and ash.
She encouraged people to give and help each other live through the situation.
"You can change the world, and you did. ... Together, we accomplish good," she said.
Elder also spent time at the plane crash site in Shanksville and was to leave Friday night for a return trip. She said the plane's passengers knew they were going to die and laid down their lives so others might live.
"They saved many," she said.
Steve Smolinsky, a junior and president of TU's Global Affairs Organization, recalled being a fifth-grader when the principal announced on a loud speaker airplanes had hit the World Trade Center.
Students were unaware of the severity of the events, he said.
Everyone remembers where they were and what they were doing Sept. 11, 2001, Smolinsky said.
"I am no different," he said.
Up in the Air from TU and Singing Collegians from Heidelberg performed during the service. Heidelberg representatives offered prayers and readings for peace.
"Grant us peace, your most precious gift," said Rita Barga, associate professor of business and political science at Heidelberg.
The Rev. Paul Sittason Stark, Heidelberg's campus minister, said some of the survivors called for revenge, while some survivors called for love and reconciliation. People continue to struggle with what loving their neighbor means, he said.
"Where there is hatred, let me sow love," he said, reading from a prayer of St. Francis of Assisi.
Stark read an invitation for those attending the service to attend a program at 7 p.m. Sunday at Columbian High School. An 18-foot steel beam from the World Trade Center is to be on display.