By Rachel von Gnechten
Where were you when 9/11 happened? It’s a question that many people ask and answer around this time each year as they recall the brutal terrorist attacks that stunned our nation and left 3000 civilians dead. This year, the Furman community will be asking another question: how will you remember the tenth anniversary of that tragic day?
Several campus organizations are planning events and memorials to mark the tenth anniversary of 9/11, giving students many occasions to honor the memory of the lives that were lost.
Officers of the Student Government Association have compiled a video memorial to commemorate the anniversary this weekend. Student reflections and anonymous commentary make this video memorial personal to the Furman Community. SGA Secretary Robin Lewis states, “Everyone has a story, and we invite all students to share theirs.” The commemorative video will be posted on the Furman SGA website (furmansga.com) on Sunday, September 11, 2011.
A Remembrance Vigil will be held at 8:30 a.m. on the Sunday Anniversary, hosted by the Office of the Chaplain. This vigil will take place at Furman’s own September 11 Memorial, located outside the Furman Mall entrance to Furman Hall.
The designer of the monument and 2005 Furman graduate, Anna Martin Winter, says of her sculpture, “One pillar is broken, representing the lives cut short and the pain and violation our nation felt … The other pillar is whole and represents the unity, patriotism and love for our country that emerged from this tragedy.” Winter has stated that she hopes students, faculty, visitors, and alumni will experience a sense of love for country and others as they pass through the stone pillars.
The mindset of love and healing is one shared by the Office of the Chaplain as they plan their upcoming initiative “From the Ground Up.” This series of events “seeks to promote understanding of diverse faith traditions,” according to a press release from Marketing and Public Relations. The first of many events surrounding the tenth anniversary, an Interfaith Service of Healing and Hope will take place on September 11 at 5 p.m. in Daniel Chapel.
The tenth anniversary of September 11 will be a time for reflection, remembrance, and recommitment to peace and respect.
“Every individual in our generation has been touched in some way by the events of that day,” Lewis said, “and we think it is vital to continue to remember those who lost their lives in the tragedy, to reflect upon the need for respect and thoughtful dialogue in a world of varied ideologies, and to consider the ways in which 9/11 has affected our understanding of the world.”