20 years later, a community remembers
20 Years Later, A Community Remembers
Students, faculty, and alumni gathered at Hendricks Chapel today to honor the lives lost during the September 11th attacks and to pay homage to those who have dedicated their lives to helping the families and friends of the victims.
Many current Syracuse University students, were too young to recall the events of September 11th, 2001, but for faculty members and alumni who remember, the memory of the attacks is as fresh as it was the day it happened.
“I was 12 years old. And I remember where I was, I remember my family’s reaction,” said Devin Bartholomew, the Baptist Chaplain at Hendricks Chapel. “I remember a history teacher who really brought us in and helped us process the day’s events for middle schoolers, as we’re going through a huge transition in our lives. This day means a lot to me, in terms of a day of reflection for myself and our country.”
The service began with the ringing of 20 chimes at 8:46 a.m., the exact time that the first plane hit the North Tower, followed by an invocation by the Dean of the Hendricks Chapel, Brian Konkol, and prayers by the other Chaplains, both for peace and for remembrance.
“Our world is both kind and cruel. Both united and divided and flourishing and failing,” said Konkol in the opening Invocation. “We gathered to remember the precious lives that were lost. And we gathered to regenerate a powerful resiliency.”
SU lost 30 alumni in the attacks and many other students were directly affected in the aftermath. Some of the chaplains even remembered counseling students in the hours and days after the attacks, as they frantically tried to get in touch with relatives and friends in New York City.
To help honor those lost, students set up a flag garden outside Hendricks Chapel this morning, with 2,977 flags to represent each of the lives lost. For SU junior Augustus Leroux, the flag garden has a personal meaning to him as his family knew people who passed, and he found solstice in setting up the garden as a way to remember the fallen.
“20 years [later], not a lot of people taking part [in the service] were even alive during the attacks,” said Leroux. “It’s something that does touch the Syracuse community. It’s still something that hits close to home for a lot of people.”
For many of the alumni who came to the service, it was a time of reflection. SU alum Tanya Jones Bosier lost her close friend, Diarelia Mena, class of 1993, in the collapse of the second tower. According to Bosier, September 11th is about honoring the lives and memories of the people lost, not the tragic way they died, but rather the way they lived.
“I consider them to be our heroes in the sense because the terror attacks were on not only on American soil but an impact on just the American way of life,” said Jones Bosier, class of 1995. “I just wanted to come in honor and pay respects to do as well as to the many others who have lost those who lost their lives during that day.”