Names etched on the head of a pin.
One name spanning a bridge, another undergoing a tunnel.
A blue name needled into the skin.
Names of citizens, workers, mothers and fathers,
The bright-eyed daughter, the quick son.
Alphabet of names in a green field.
Names in the small tracks of birds.
Names lifted from a hat
Or balanced on the tip of the tongue.
Names wheeled into the dim warehouse of memory.
So many names, there is barely room on the walls of the heart.
— From The Names by Billy Collins
From time to time, catastrophic events occur that shape the consciousness of a generation; the reverberations ripple through generations that follow. The attacks of September 11, 2001 forever changed our nation and the world. They have affected every one of us, from those who remember the shocking, horrific images of that fall morning, to the large fraction of our students who were not yet born. They weigh heaviest on those who lost loved ones as a result of the attacks that day.
I invite members of our community to join in commemorating the 20th anniversary of the attacks this Friday, Sept. 10, in the Scott Outdoor Amphitheater. Every 20 minutes between 10 a.m. and noon, the Interfaith Center’s religious advisors and students will present a program of readings, poems, and guided meditation to honor those lost. You are welcome to join others in the community as we reflect together on the attacks and their decades-long aftermath, or you may simply pass through the space as you feel comfortable. Should weather prevent the event from taking place outside, we will move it indoors to the Singer Hall Lounge.
I hope the company of others or the opportunity for solitude in the serene setting of the amphitheater will bring comfort to those of you who seek it.