The Colgate Scene
November 2002

One year later
The Colgate community remembers 9/11/01

Luke Merkel '06, of Arlington, Va., and Becky Armstrong '06, of Auburn, N.Y., reflect during a moment of silence at 10:28 a.m. on the anniversary of the terrorist attacks. [Enlarge] [Photos by Timothy D. Sofranko]

"We need to remember our sorrow — it is a badge of our humanity, and we should wear it proudly."

With its gray skies and rain showers driven by a raw, west wind, the morning of September 11, 2002 seemed tailor-made for somber reflection.

One year earlier, September 11 was a day of sun-drenched splendor, soured by the slaughter of innocents in New York City, Washington, D.C. and Shanksville, Pa. On that day, the Colgate community came together in grief to try and make sense of the unthinkable. One year later, the community gathered again to reflect on what had happened and how it had changed them and the world beyond Colgate, but most of all, to remember.


The sensitive crown of the human heart: A reading one year later
Excerpts from theologian Martin E. Marty's September 11, 2002, speech in the Hall of Presidents

When the bells of Memorial Chapel began to chime at 9:10 a.m. this past September 11, all foot traffic on the Quad came to an abrupt halt as each person stopped and turned in the direction of the chapel. As the last chime faded in diminuendo, a lone piper began playing "Amazing Grace," the hymn of redemption and the wind the only sounds as all those present united in respectful silence for the victims of the terrorist attacks.

A few moments later, University Chaplin Nancy De Vries opened an interfaith service inside the chapel.

"In choosing to pray together across the lines and categories that normally divide us, we have already demonstrated what it means to be people of faith," said De Vries. "In choosing to pray with persons of varying religious traditions, nations and ethnicities, we say that we do not look at the events of 9/11 and see the absence of God, or a hostile or indifferent deity. Rather, we see Divine Presence that suffers with us and empowers us, as members of the human race, to create, to heal and to build."

Omid Safi, assistant professor of philosophy and religion, fields questions after a panel discussion on the nature of war and civil liberties titled "America as a Democracy: Is War Necessary? Do Civil Liberties Matter? What Is a Good American?" Safi led the panel of faculty, students and members of the Hamilton community that convened at the Barge Canal Coffee Company. A homemade sign hung between trees near West Hall and Memorial Chapel carries a plea for peace.

The interfaith service was one of several events, including panel discussions and workshops, held on campus to observe the first anniversary of the terrorist attacks. Addressing the campus community during a noontime gathering in the chapel, President Rebecca Chopp said, "The power of community, of being in common with those around us, does not solve, fix or address the terrible tragedy. But comfort, compassion and hope arise in human solidarity where together we grieve and together we begin to imagine again. On this day forever may we remember: that in the fear, rage, terror, grief, we also reached out to each other and down deep to our country's soul, and remember that democracy is important, that loyalty still beats in our hearts and that civic engagement is a tradition worth retrieving."

Students in the American School first-year seminar gather in a circle to reflect as a group on the morning of the first anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
Speaking after Chopp, Jack Dovidio, provost and dean of the faculty, urged students not only to keep in mind those lost in the terrorist attacks but also to embrace the emotions brought forth through remembrance.

"We need to remember our sorrow -- it is a badge of our humanity, and we should wear it proudly," said Dovidio.

As has been customary at memorial events since 9/11/01, Chopp read aloud the names of the seven Colgate alumni, as well as the names of others from the Colgate community, who perished in the terrorist attacks: Nestor Cintron '96, Scott Coleman '94, Edward Porter Felt '81 (survived by spouse Sandra Valdez Felt '81), Aaron J. Jacobs '96, Todd Pelino '89 (survived by spouse Megan Pezzuti Pelino '89, cousin of Joe Burkett '03), David Retik '90 (survived by spouse Susan Zalesne Retik '90), Sharon Balkcom '80, Daniel SantaMaria (cousin of Ana Calle '05), Richard Rosenthal (cousin of Rachel Deblinger '02). Michael Hardy Edwards (son of William Edwards '52 and brother of Christopher Edwards '93), Amy Jarret (flight attendant on United Airlines flight 175, step-sister of Brian Lemek '02 ), David Rathkey (husband of Julia Wilcox Rathkey '84), Kaleen Pezzuti (sister of Megan Pezzuti Pelino '89), Francis Noel McGuinn (brother of Ed McGuinn '73), Robert Cruikshank (father of Christina Cruikshank '91), Edmund McNally (brother of Lydia McNally Danenberg '84), David Brady (brother of Scott Brady '88), and Jon Vandevander (brother-in-law of Sarah Tarvin Thurston '89).

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