Two years after the World Trade Center and Pentagon tragedies, Duke continues to remember and reflect--however, there is a slightly different feel on campus this year.
While last year's Sept. 11 anniversary was a day that overwhelmed campus life, today there are fewer commemorative events and academic discussions--a change many students and administrators have noticed. "This has moved from a day of national remembrance to a day of more personal reflection," said Larry Moneta, vice president for student affairs.
President Nan Keohane spoke last year in a tribute at the Duke University Museum of Art. This year she plans to keep a lower profile, and will visit the memorial grove of trees in the West-Edens Link, dedicated to the six alumni who died in the attacks.
Despite the changes, some events remain the same. The Chapel will be open throughout the day and two services have been scheduled. An interfaith service of prayer will be held at noon and a vespers service--with candlelight, choir, scriptures and prayer--will be held at 5:15 p.m. Chapel bells will chime throughout the morning to symbolically mark the moments when the planes hit the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
There will also be a noon luncheon at the Duke Law School, where professors Scott Silliman and Christopher Schroeder will discuss the war against terrorism.
Finally, at 8 p.m., a community vigil will be held on the Chapel Quad. "This is not a political event; political debates can be saved for another day," said Mollie Lurey, an organizer of the vigil. "This is to show honor and remember lost loved ones and to come together for a good cause."
Lurey said she is expecting a high turnout, and sees the vigil as a good way for people to express their mourning. "Even though it was two years ago, [people] should take a moment to remember and to honor the heroes," she said.
Chris Donald, a graduate student in the divinity school, said Sept. 11 still really affects the way people think, and the anniversary is a time to reflect on the way people think.
"It'll be a more solemn day [in comparison to any other day]," said Sarah Baker, a junior. "A year makes a big difference, but it's [been] only two years."
Although tomorrow is being remembered in particular, Albert Eldridge, professor of political science, said that people's interest in the events of Sept. 11 extends beyond the anniversary and into their academic pursuits.
"You see a lot of students who are showing much more interest in foreign policy and international relations," Eldridge said. He added that he was impressed with the participation in discussions involving international relations and the post-Sept. 11 world.
Campus Commemorations Today
* Beginning at 8:46 a.m., timed to the precise moments of each of the four plane crashes and the descent of the two towers of the World Trade Center, a single chime will be rung from the Chapel carillon.
* At 11 a.m., six chimes will be rung in recognition of the six Duke alumni who died on September 11.
* At noon, a service of prayer and quiet meditation will be led by members of the Duke Religious Life staff in memory of the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist acts in the Chapel.
* At 5:15 p.m., a vespers service--with candlelight, choir, scriptures and prayer--will be held in the Chapel.
* At 8 p.m., a community vigil will be held on the Chapel Quad.
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