University Plans Quiet Reflection
on September 11 Anniversary
By Richard Veilleux
The horrors of Sept. 11, 2001 will be commemorated at the University with a series of quiet, reflective events, beginning with a bell ringing and campus-wide moment of silence at 8:46 a.m., the moment the first terrorist plane struck the World Trade Center.
A flag-raising at noon, led by UConn's Reserve Officer Training Corps, and a candlelight vigil at 7 p.m., on the plaza in front of the Homer Babbidge Library, will round out the day.
"We thought the best way to honor those who lost their lives - including a number of our alumni - and their families would be through quietly sharing our pain and our memories, seeking solace in one another and being together as a community," said Angela Rola, director of the Asian American Cultural Center and chair of the chancellor's committee on programming, which planned the day's program.
During the evening vigil, 3,244 votive candles - marking the number of lives lost at the trade centers, the Pentagon, and in Pennsylvania, where the fourth terrorist-piloted plane crashed - will be lit. They will be placed around the plaza and allowed to burn until the next evening, marking the time when thousands of UConn faculty, staff, and students began a vigil last year. A brief program, including several songs by the Voices of Freedom gospel choir, will precede the candle lighting.
Following the lighting, many of the local churches, Hillel Foundation, and the Islamic Center will remain open to welcome members of the community looking for comfort or discussion after the vigil.
At the Health Center, there will be a 15-minute commemoration at 12:15 p.m. in the courtyard. Executive Vice President for Health Affairs and Dean of the School of Medicine Dr. Peter Deckers, Dr. Julian Ford, and Chaplain Dan Petronella will speak.
At Avery Point, there will be a campus gathering at 12:15 p.m. in front of the Branford House, where faculty, staff and students will be invited to share their thoughts during a moment of remembrance.
In Hartford, events are planned throughout the day, beginning at 8:45 a.m., when a wreath will be placed against a tree planted last September in memory of the tragedy. There will be a brief program, including bagpipe music played by Bruce Hedman, a math professor at the Hartford campus.
At 10 a.m., noon, and 2 p.m., in the library auditorium, moments of reflection will take place, each opening with a poem by a member of the campus community. Campus Director David Williams will start the conversations at
10 a.m. Throughout the day, members of the campus community, including faculty, staff and students from the School of Social Work, may post their thoughts on spaces being created at four locations.
The School of Law is still planning its commemoration.
In Stamford, the campus community will join the city for a moment of silence at 10:29 a.m., the moment the second tower of the trade center collapsed. There will be a tree planting ceremony at 12:30 p.m., sponsored by the Student Government Association, and sections of a Wall of Remembrance will be placed across campus. From 8 a.m. until 10 p.m., news footage from Sept. 11, 2001, will run in the GeneralCologne Re Auditorium.
In Torrington, a faculty panel will discuss causes of the attack and its effects on America. The seminar will begin at 9 a.m. in the lecture hall.
In Waterbury, a wall of the classroom building is being papered so members of that community can share their reflections. Candles will be lit, and staff from Family Services of Greater Waterbury will be on hand, should anyone wish to share their feelings with a counselor.