DeCycles to be part of 9/11 ceremony at Ivy Tech Sunday


By Dann Denny 331-4350 |
September 6, 2011

The silence was deafening.

That’s what 70 deCycles team members from the Bloomington area discovered when they took part in a short ceremony on July 4 at Ground Zero in New York City.

The 10-minute ceremony, meant to honor those who lost their lives during the 9/11 tragedy, took place under a steady drizzle falling from a slate-gray sky.

There was no crowd to speak of — just the young people, their adult supervisors and a handful of Port Authority of New York and New Jersey officials — but the impact of the ceremony was powerful.

“The silence was compelling,” said Norm Houze, who along with his wife, Cricket, organized and supervised the 1,650-mile, three-week trip through New England, which also included stops at Valley Forge, the Statue of Liberty, Plymouth Rock and Gettysburg National Battlefield before ending in Burlington, Vt. “Even though these kids were only 5 or 6 years old when 9/11 occurred, it was so moving. The spirit at that place fills you with gratitude for the privilege of living in this great nation. It really gets to you.”

DeCycles is a nonprofit leadership development program that has taken young cyclists on long bike trips for the past 18 summers. During the ceremony, an Eagle Scout and three military veterans unfolded an American flag given to the deCycles team by the city of Bloomington and Local 586 of the International Association of Fire Fighters, and raised it on a towering flagpole.

“A Port Authority officer who said he survived the collapse of the Twin Towers helped us raise the flag,” Houze said.

With the unfurled flag flapping in the wind, Cricket Houze spoke briefly about what the Stars and Stripes mean to every American, and how the nation still grieves for those who lost their lives on that fateful day.

Then, after a moment of silence, the flag was taken down and folded. It will be presented during a special 9/11 remembrance event at 1 p.m. Sunday at Ivy Tech’s Bloomington campus, in front of the community college’s main building. The event, a joint effort of the city of Bloomington and the Bloomington Metropolitan Firefighters Union Local 586, will feature a formal ceremony that will include color and honor guard sequences and a performance by a pipes and drum band.

Houze said Ground Zero is now a massive construction site inundated with tall cranes, pallets and scaffolding.

“The Freedom Tower is already a third completed,” he said. “It will be the second-tallest building in the world when it’s completed, and it symbolizes how America has risen up from this horrendous event.”

This beam from the World Trade Center wreckage, seen Saturday at the Bloomington Fire Department’s downtown station during the Fourth Street Festival of the Arts and Crafts, will be displayed again Sunday at the Ivy Tech 9/11 ceremony. Monty Howell | Herald-Times

Copyright: 2011

About Ivy Tech Community College

Ivy Tech Community College is Indiana's largest public postsecondary institution and the nation's largest singly accredited statewide community college system, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana and also serves thousands of students annually online. It serves as the state's engine of workforce development, offering associate degrees, long- and short-term certificate programs, industry certifications, and training that aligns with the needs of the community. The College provides a seamless transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana, as well as out of state, for a more affordable route to a bachelor's degree.