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Remembering September 11

Ten years ago, on September 11, 2001, terrorists struck the United States, killing nearly 3,000 people.  Today let us pause to remember this terrible tragedy, visited upon the innocent.

Six of the dead were our own, alumni who died in the World Trade Center or aboard United Flight 93, which crashed in rural Pennsylvania.  Some of them were heroes: Jeremy Glick ’93 was one of the passengers aboard Flight 93 who tried to overcome the hijackers and thwart their plans to crash the plane into the White House or Capitol building; Zhe “Zack” Zeng ’95, ‘98S (MBA), a trained emergency medical technician, left the safety of his building and went to the World Trade Center to try to help the injured.   We mourn them all: Brendan Dolan ’86, Aram Iskenderian ’82, and Jeffrey Smith ’87, ‘88S (MBA), all of whom died in the World Trade Center, and Jean Hoadley Peterson ‘69N, who died on United Flight 93.  They are remembered in the September-October issue of Rochester Review, and you can read the story here

The group of three benches and tables on the plaza at Meliora Hall, a gift of the Class of 2002, commemorates our six former students, and Gleason Hall’s fourth floor patio is dedicated to the memory of Jeff Smith and Zack Zeng.

We will lower the U.S. and University flags to commemorate the tragedy on September 11, and we will honor the memory of our six alumni by listing their names on the flagpole plaque.  Student groups and others, including our NROTC and the local fire departments, have planned a number of events for the days surrounding the anniversary.  You can read about them and list your own events on a special web page.  We expect the list to grow as students return to campus and student organizations plan their fall activities.

September 11 is a memory that will remain with many of us for the rest of our lives.  It is fitting to pause and reflect on the meaning of the events of that terrible Tuesday morning, what we lost, and how we have endured.