Remembering September 11, 2001
Dear Students, Faculty, Staff and Friends in the Trinity Community,
Four years ago, at just about this time, we all stood witness to public acts of murder, terrible destruction rooted in hatred and ignorance. The consequences of September 11 continue to reverberate around the world, from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with their incalculable destruction of lives and cultures in those nations and among our troops, to the terrorist bombings in London and Madrid and Bali, to the restrictions on once-assumed liberties in this nation. On September 11, in New York and Washington and Pennsylvania, we lost members of the extended Trinity family — sons and husbands, cousins and aunts and nieces, an alumna teacher who perished with her student on the plane that crashed at the Pentagon. Today we remember them and pray for their families, and all who suffered so much as a consequence of this great human tragedy. We give thanks for the members of our military who are sacrificing so much in the ongoing wars in so many difficult, treacherous locations.
Even as we remember those who lost loved ones on September 11, we are also reaching out to the victims of Hurricane Katrina in whatever ways we can. The instinctive, generous outreach to those in need is truly a magnificent affirmation of life as an antidote to the threats and fears we cope with in the age of terrorism. DeTocqueville observed the remarkable “habits of the heart” that characterized Americans even two centuries ago, and that continue to this day. Our personal extension of our time, our talents and our resources to others can be far more powerful than any governmental intervention. Such charity, in the true sense of virtue, is also the necessary foundation for ensuring justice and peace in our society. Acting with charity, serving those in need, working for peace and justice are all imperatives of the Catholic faith that animates Trinity, and these are virtues and values we share with all of the major faith traditions in our campus community.
Many thanks to all members of the Trinity community who affirm these values in so many ways each day. Your witness to charity, to justice, to peace offers hope in this time of crisis; your example of hope is the best possible way to honor the memory of those who perished on this day in 2001, and those who have died in the subsequent wars and acts of terrorism around the world.
President Patricia McGuire