September 11, 2001 20th Anniversary Remembrance




Tomorrow marks the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. As a college community, we traditionally pause to remember that terrible event and honor those who lost their lives, suffered injury or illness, or displayed heroism in responding, both that day and in the days after the attacks.

Members of the Marist community will come together today at 2:30 p.m. under the Dining Tent behind the Student Center to mark this anniversary, and we invite you to attend the service. As has been our tradition, Marist’s 9/11 cross will be on display. This Celtic cross was cut from a section of I-beam from the South Tower of the World Trade Center and was presented to the College on the first anniversary of the attacks by Charles Vitchers, Jr. ’01, who worked for eight months at Ground Zero alongside his father removing the remnants of the Twin Towers.

Today’s undergraduate students were just infants or had not even been born on September 11, 2001. For those of us who lived through the attacks or saw the dreadful images on live TV, however, the loss of life and trauma of that day are still vivid in our minds. The attacks affected thousands of families, including many connected to Marist. Six of our alumni were killed that day, and many affiliated with the College lost parents, siblings, spouses, and other loved ones. We continue to honor all those who perished and to acknowledge the unfillable void left behind in each of their families.

Twenty years later, the events of September 11 are beginning to pass from the realm of lived experience into the history books. As we consider this tragedy and the implications it had for our country, I hope we will always focus on the human element at its center – the stories of individuals who acted with courage, selflessness, and quiet dignity in the face of unimaginable circumstances. Their lives were cruelly stolen from us, and we will not forget them.

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