Remembering Sept. 11

Remembering Sept. 11

By Mark Sullivan
Staff Writer

Boston College marked the one-year anniversary of Sept. 11 with an interfaith service that drew more than 3,000 to O'Neill Plaza.


(Above left) After the Sept. 11 memorial service in O'Neill Plaza, Lauren Cables '06 (foreground) joined other members of the Boston College community in leaving prayers, thoughts and other messages at the Wall of Remembrance. (Photo by Lee Pellegrini)
All stood in silence as the names of 24 alumni and parents lost in the terrorist attacks a year ago were read aloud. Students, who were excused from classes between noon and 1 p.m. that day, streamed across the plaza at the close of the service to scrawl messages on a Wall of Remembrance bearing the names of those lost.

"Eternal rest, grant them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them," Director of Campus Ministry James Erps, SJ, said in a prayer for the souls of the departed.

University President William Leahy, SJ, said a prayer labyrinth will be established on campus as a permanent memorial to those who died on 9/11, among them 21 Boston College alumni.

He spoke beneath a large American flag that had been displayed for the past year on the façade of O'Neill Library and which was lowered at the end of last week for placement in the University Archives.

"Blessed are they who mourn: for they shall be comforted," said Fr. Leahy, quoting from Jesus' Beatitudes in the Book of Matthew. "Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God."


Some attending the service wore shirts or caps bearing 9/11 tributes. (Photo by Lee Pellegrini)
A bell in Gasson Tower tolled in memory of family and friends lost. The Voices of Imani and the combined Boston College Chorale and Liturgy Arts Group sang spirituals, and were joined by all in the singing of "Amazing Grace" at the close of the service.

Student lectors at the 40-minute interfaith service offered prayers from the Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish and Muslim traditions. Chaplain Howard McLendon, a Baptist minister, read excerpts from the Nobel Prize acceptance speech of Martin Luther King. Adam Baker '03, president of the Undergraduate Government of Boston College, also spoke.


Student Services Communication Specialist Carolina De Benedictus showed her patriotism at the memorial service.(Photo by Lee Pellegrini)
A bouquet of flowers lay before the Wall of Remembrance bearing the names of BC alumni and parents lost on 9/11. Campus Ministry arranged for the wall to be placed in O'Neill Plaza for three days following the service, inviting members of the campus community to write thoughts and prayers.

The wall soon filled with messages. Among them:

"May God Bless America."

"Pray for Peace."

"Love is Stronger."

"To all that we lost, we shall keep the hope in humanity."
"Prayers for two 4-year-olds who lost their fathers at the WTC."

"'Twas life when you came and a remembrance of love when you left."

"You will never be forgotten. Amazing Grace."

Students gathered at the wall said they had been touched by the day's commemoration. "It was quite moving," said Bjoern Landsberg, of Hamburg, Germany, a visiting student in the College of Advancing Studies, who left the inscription, "United We Stand: United States and Germany."

"Beautiful - it's the only way I can describe it," said John Armstrong '03. "I didn't know what to expect walking up, but once you get here, it hits you."

Jacqueline Wyka '06, whose father works in New York's Financial District, said: "I thought it was great how everyone in the Boston College community came together. I really like the Wall of Remembrance. It gives us a chance to preserve our thoughts and memories for generations to come."

At St. Mary's chapel, the Gospel reading at the 11 a.m. Mass featured the Beatitudes from the Book of Luke, including: "Blessed are those who weep, for they shall laugh." A young woman who lingered after Mass prayed the rosary while wiping away tears.

 

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