Fifteenth Anniversary of 9-11: ‘God Bless America’ Image Endured for Two Months

therock911

Situated at the corner of Pat Head Summitt Street and Volunteer Boulevard, the Rock has been a symbol of self-expression on the UT campus since its excavation in the 1960s.

In the decades since, it has displayed many iconic messages—but few, if any, have lasted as long as the patriotic message following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. “God Bless America” was painted on the Rock for more than two months, making it among the longest-lasting messages in the Rock’s history.

“There aren’t many things that stay up that long,” said Terry Ledford, director of zone maintenance for Facilities Services. “This image stayed on the Rock longer than any other image has in the thirty years I’ve been at UT.”