UD Remembers 9/11
Interfaith service marks anniversary of tragedy 

Streaming video of the interfaith service may be viewed online.
Click here for a low-resolution video at [http://www.udel.edu/UMS/udlive/pr/remembrance-lo.ram].
Click here for a high-reslolution video [http://www.udel.edu/UMS/udlive/pr/remembrance-hi.ram].
More than 500 members of the UD community gathered for the mid-day memorial service.

Sept. 11, 2002--One year after the University community came together in shock and grief at the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, students, faculty and staff gathered again to reflect and remember.

“Our purpose is to remember those who died, to celebrate the heroes whose actions prevented even greater tragedies and to help set the course—a course for a world free of outrages of the sort that occurred on that day of infamy,” President David P. Roselle said in welcoming an audience of 500 to Wednesday’s interfaith service.

The service, “A Day of Remembrance and Hope,” was held at 12:30 p.m. in Mitchell Hall and was sponsored by the Religious and Spiritual Life Concerns Caucus and the University Religious Leaders Organization.

A second ceremony, a Candlelight Commemoration, began at 6 p.m., with discussion groups convening afterward.

The midday service included musical selections performed by UD musicians and readings by students, faculty and religious leaders representing the diverse faith communities at the University. The observance began with the opening hymn “For the Healing of the Nations” and concluded with the singing of “Let There Be Peace on Earth.” 

A montage of photographs showing images of last Sept. 11 and its aftermath was shown before and after the service. Assembled by Ralph Begleiter, Rosenberg Professor of Communication and Distinguished Journalist in Residence, the montage depicted such varied images as the devastation at the World Trade Center site, the candlelight vigil outside UD’s Memorial Hall last year, international expressions of sympathy for the United States, flag-draped caskets of fallen firefighters in New York and warfare in Afghanistan.
Jeanne Murray Walker, professor of English, read three poems she had written about 9/11.

The Rev. Laura Lee Wilson of the Wesley Foundation Campus Ministry, chair of the Religious and Spiritual Life Concerns Caucus, spoke of the events of a year ago, recalling how the University community gathered in search of comfort, support, hope and peace.

“The shocking events that took place at the Pentagon, the World Trade Center and in the field of Pennsylvania seemed as if, for a brief time, evil prevailed,” she said. “However, people have come together, calling upon the God who has many names, the God of many colors and the God of all nations. We have called upon one another to provide the strength and the wisdom to bring peace to all God’s people through the healing of body, mind and spirit.”

Wilson also read a list of names of UD alumni killed in the terrorist attacks, as well as those of alumni and friends of the University who lost family members. In addition, she noted, at least 12 current students suffered the loss of loved ones.

Erin Karnik of the Baha’i Student Group, read from the Baha’i Prayer Book: “Unlock the gates of true understanding and let the light of faith shine resplendent. Gather all people beneath the shadow of Thy bounty and cause them to unite in harmony….”

Richard Heller of Hillel recited the Hebrew “Mourner’s Kaddish,” including (in English translation), “May the Source of peace send peace to all who mourn, and comfort to all who are bereaved.” That prayer was followed by a reading from the Koran by Shahida Dar of the Muslim Student Association.

In other readings from the religious communities, Kimberly S. Zitzner of Thomas More Oratory quoted from “The Prayer of St. Francis,” and Bill McCracken of the Delaware Zen Group read from “Teaching of a Zen Master.”
Members of the UD Gospel Choir performed “My Life is in Your Hands.”

In addition to hymns, musical selections at the service included “My Life Is in Your Hands,” performed by members of the UD Gospel Choir, and the spiritual “We Shall Overcome,” sung by Prof. Marie Robinson and music student Gus Mercante, which concluded with the phrase, “We shall live in peace someday.”

Jeanne Murray Walker, professor of English, read three poems she has written about the Sept. 11 tragedies, “Ground Zero,” “Analysis” and “Night Light.” “Ground Zero” begins:

It has thrown the whole continent out of whack,
shown us our little lives. Our tiny jobs and ideas. …

and continues:

Maybe tinyness is a language I have spoken my whole life.
Now light is leaving this side of the world.
I watch cars pour like lava into the ear

Of the Lincoln Tunnel. It’s true. It’s true.
Everything is smaller than I thought.
As I unlock my door at the hotel, my heart is all wish.

Article by Ann Manser

Photos by Kathy Flickinger

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