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Boston College to Honor Alumni Victims of 9-11 With Labyrinth Dedication

CHESTNUT HILL, MA (9-5-03) - Boston College will pay tribute to its 22 alumni killed in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 with the dedication of a memorial labyrinth on the lawn of Burns Library on Thursday, September 11.

The labyrinth dedication, which will begin at noon, will include reflections by University President William P. Leahy, SJ, the blessing of the labyrinth, and music by BC student groups. Several family members of the deceased alumni will be in attendance.

Inspired by the labyrinth on the floor of the Cathedral of Chartres in France, the labyrinth will honor the victims of 9-11 by providing a permanent memorial within a space designated for prayer, reflection and meditation.

The ceremony will begin with the tolling of the Gasson Hall bells - to be rung 22 times in honor of the victims. Their names, which will be read aloud at the dedication by BC students, will be inscribed on the stones along the labyrinth's stone lunation, or outer ring.

The 50-foot-wide stone labyrinth, a medieval prayer circle of concentric rings forming a single path to the center, is similar to those used by Christians since the Middle Ages as an aid to meditation and prayer. The famed stone pathway in the Cathedral at Chartres, the model for BC's labyrinth, has for centuries been a site for worshippers to pray and reflect while making a symbolic pilgrimage along the winding walkway.

The 300-yard long, 28-loop labyrinth walkway on Burns Lawn consists of some 600 bluestones, quarried in Endicott, NY and cut with laser-guided radial technology to fit perfectly in the circular design. Each of the center pathway stones is approximately two-and-a-half feet long and weighs some 60 pounds. The outer pathway stones are four feet long and weigh more than 100 pounds each.

Design and construction of BC's labyrinth was overseen by Geller Associates, Inc. of Boston, one of the region's leading landscape architectural firms.

MEDIA NOTE: To arrange attendance at the dedication ceremony, or for more information, please contact Jack Dunn at 617-552-3350.

 


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