For their ability to persevere through adversity and host a powerful September 11 memorial event, American University Young Americans for Freedom (AU YAF) has been named Chapter of the Month for September.
Like hundreds of chapters nationwide, AU YAF organized Young America’s Foundation’s 9/11: Never Forget Project to remember the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 and introduce their peers, many of whom were not even born on 9/11, to a part of history that many schools fail to appropriately recognize – American University being no exception.
In addition to the flagship initiative, AU YAF hosted Marc Theissen, The New York Times bestselling author, columnist for The Washington Post, resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), and a member of President George W. Bush’s senior staff, as a keynote for a memorial service AU YAF held in conjunction with other groups on campus.
To a room filled beyond capacity where students were crowding the back for a chance to participate in such an experience, Thiessen brought a trove of historical facts and personal stories from the White House. Students’ gazes were fixated on him, expressing shock and surprise, as Thiessen explained what it was like to be in the White House moments after the first jet crashed into the World Trade Center. Thiessen continued retelling his memories of 9/11/01, introducing the audience to the motivations behind the radical Islamic terrorists – that the attacks were carried out for no other reason other than pure hatred for America born out of an evil ideology.
Following his presentation, Thiessen was met by a storm of curious students, lining up to ask him more questions. Many expressed confusion and frustration as to why they had never heard any of this before. “We are talking about 9/11 right now in my class,” one student clarified, “and none of this is even remotely taught.”
Unfortunately, AU YAF was attacked following the memorial by leftist student organizations at American University with claims that the event was “not applicable” and “not appropriate.” Despite Thiessen’s personal experiences in the White House and a room packed with over 100 appreciative students, some at American University found historical facts to be offensive and better forgotten.
In spite of this criticism and condemnation, AU YAF prospered. Chairman of AU YAF Kate Minium explained, “There was criticism of our YAF chapter following the service, but I believe that we came out stronger because of it.” Rather than caving to the demands of AU’s feeble social justice warriors, AU YAF stayed focused on their mission of advancing conservatism on campus through hosting more engaging presentations and tabling events. “Make your presence known. The best thing to do is stay active, stay present, and stay secure. Stay confident in YAF’s history of success, and remind yourself and your members that we succeed because we put principle first,” Minium stated.
American University Young Americans for Freedom introduced their students to a history lesson that their school would rather forget and brushed off baseless criticism designed to shame and silence conservatives. For this reason, we congratulate AU YAF on being selected as September’s Chapter of the Month!
The following members of AU YAF were instrumental in the chapter’s success: