University holds Sept. 11 observance on 10th anniversary of attacks
TUSKEGEE, Ala. (September 11, 2011) – Tuskegee University students, faculty and administration joined the country in remembrance of the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001. A special service was held in the University Chapel on Sunday. Moments included reflections by the university’s president, dean of chapel, and representatives of the faculty and staff senates, and the Student Government Association.
“On the morning of Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001, our sense of ‘home sweet home’ was devastatingly disrupted,” said the Rev. Gregory S. Gray, dean of the University Chapel.
Delivering a timeline of the tragic day of events were Marilyn DeNeal, chair of the staff senate; Vascar Harris, chair of the faculty senate; and Jesica Holley, SGA president. Images included the aftermath of hijacked planes crashing into the World Trade Center towers in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. It also showed the rural field in Somerset County, Penn., where a fourth plane crashed, the result of heroic passengers deterring the hijackers from causing more calamities in the nation’s capital. Nearly 3,000 people perished in the attacks. A moment of silence was observed while “Taps” played.
Tuskegee University President Gilbert L. Rochon then spoke to a visibly emotional audience. He stressed the importance of having tolerance and respect for not only each other in this country, but the world as a whole.
“We have to embrace this world,” Rochon said. “When we do that, we become better human beings.”
Rochon also stressed that ignorance can lead to detrimental actions. He remarked that all are “innocents,” contrary to rhetoric spewed by terrorist leader Osama bin Laden, who is blamed for the 2001 attacks on U.S. soil.
“We have to be introspective,” he said. “We are all vulnerable to misinformation. We cannot allow ‘innocence’ to be an excuse to remain in global ignorance.”
Tuskegee University ROTC units present the colors before the service.
Tuskegee University President Gilbert L. Rochon delivers remarks.
Visual in the Chapel.