September 10, 2021

Dear UD Community,

Twenty years ago, a series of terrorist attacks in the United States shook the entire world, with reverberations that we continue to feel throughout the University of Delaware today. In this milestone year, we join the global community in remembering September 11, 2001, and reflecting on its meaning, both now and into the future.

Remembering 9/11 is critically important, as all history lessons are, to understanding what happened: These were the largest terrorist attacks in history, claiming nearly 3,000 lives and prompting far-reaching and enduring impacts on daily life, the economy, travel, politics and more. To honor those who died in the attacks and the global conflicts that followed, we pause to recall these historic events and their complex legacy.

To this purpose, a ceremony is planned for 9 a.m. today on the north steps of Memorial Hall, along with an opportunity to write messages of reflection on yellow ribbons to be displayed on The Green throughout the day. This new display will recall the Ribbon Garden that emerged on The Green in the days after 9/11. Those ribbons were carefully preserved, and a selection of them is now on display in the concourse near the West Lounge of Perkins Student Center. Tomorrow, U.S. flags on campus will fly at half-staff, the Carillon will chime 20 times at the moments the four planes crashed, and we will honor local first responders at the Blue Hens football game at Delaware Stadium. More information on these and other commemorations is available at

To truly learn from 9/11, we must also look beyond remembrance. Moving forward, we can apply the lessons of 9/11 in creating a safer, more tolerant and more peaceful society. Education, freedom of thought, open dialogue, global citizenship — values that the University of Delaware holds dear — provide the means through which we can, and will, change the world.

On this 20th anniversary of 9/11, let us remember, and let us reflect and recommit ourselves and the entire University of Delaware community to never give up as we continue forward on the path to peace and justice.


signature of President Dennis Assanis

Dennis Assanis

University of Delaware   •   Newark, DE   •