An auditorium full of community members gathered in the Urbana University Student Center to remember the life of Alicia Titus and join her parents in continuing her legacy through the Alicia Titus Memorial Peace Fund on Sunday.
Titus, a graduate of Graham High School and Miami University, was a flight attendant on Flight 175 when it struck the World Trade Center 15 years ago.
“Her legacy was one of compassion for others, understanding and acceptance of all people, peaceful existence and an exuberant love for all of life,” her mother Bev said in a press release.
The event was opened with a selection by the World House Choir, under the direction of Dr. Catherine Roma. Urbana University President Dr. George Lucas welcomed the attendees and Mayor Bill Bean spoke briefly.
John and Bev Titus spoke about their daughter in turn, with the choir and renowned author and speaker Marianne Williamson filling out the program.
John spoke glowingly of his daughter’s passion for others, explaining how that spirit carries on.
“That’s what gets us through is the love of community, the love of family, the love of one another and to feel that inner connection that we have with one another,” John said. “Love is our ultimate reality, which connects us to God and to one another.”
He recounted his daughter’s joyous spirit, her wise and giving nature and her appreciation for and kindness to her fellow human beings “except for once or twice when she was a teenager” he joked.
Alicia’s mother, Bev, took the podium and spoke about her daughter’s life and accomplishments. She spoke about her drive and her compassion. And she spoke about the horrible tragedy that befell the country that morning in September. The horror that struck her home.
“We all remember the horror that we witnessed. We all remember where we were, what we felt and what we saw,” Bev said.
She said she was awakened by a voice telling her to get up. She begrudgingly did so, turned on the television and made coffee – just in time to see Flight 175 hit the tower.
“I couldn’t believe my eyes. My heart ached for everyone that was part of that terror. Their families and friends,” she said. “And then later that day, I found out that I was one of them. I had just witnessed her murder. I realized the voice that morning was Alicia, calling me to be with her in the only way that I could.”
Sunday’s event was definitely a memorial. It had the sorrow, the pain and the empathy. But it was also a celebration. A joyous tribute to a brighter future.
“I know with my whole being that Alicia’s soul lives on,” John said. “Even through the struggle, the pain and sadness, life is good. I feel incredible love in my heart.”
Reach Justin Miller at 652-1331 (ext. 1775) or on Twitter @UDC_Miller.