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Sept. 10, 2004 • Volume 13 Number 1

Since its dedication last Sept. 11., the Memorial Labyrinth has been used as a place of reflection by members and guests of the University community.

9/11 and BC, Three Years Later

Three years ago Saturday, the Boston College community joined people throughout the United States and elsewhere in the world in shared horror and grief over the death and devastation in New York City, Washington, DC, and Pennsylvania.

Since that day, the University has memorialized the 22 BC alumni and others lost in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks through special events and other more enduring forms of tribute.

The most visible 9/11 memorial at BC is the labyrinth on the Burns Library lawn, dedicated last Sept. 11. The names of the 22 deceased alumni are etched into the outer ring of the 50-foot wide labyrinth, a medieval prayer circle of concentric rings forming a single path to the center, a copy of the 13th-century Chartres Cathedral labyrinth. Since its dedication, the labyrinth has become a place of reflection for members of and visitors to the BC community, who walk its meandering path and sometimes leave flowers or other tributes at the site. A Web site offers perspective on the historical significance of labyrinths as well as audio, video and text links related to the dedication and other past Sept. 11-related campus events.

This year's most conspicuous Sept. 11 campus commemoration will take place Saturday night at Alumni Stadium before the BC-Penn State football game. Prior to the playing of the national anthem, fans will be asked to observe a moment of silence in memory of Penn State and BC alumni and others who lost their lives on 9/11. At halftime, a brief video describing the University's Memorial Labyrinth will be shown on Alumni Stadium's electronic message boards.

Another Sept. 11-related event with BC connections is a bicycle marathon from New York City to Boston to benefit Beyond the 11th, a charitable organization for widows in war-torn areas co-founded by Patti Quigley, sister of Rev. James Fleming, SJ, assistant to the Vice President for University Mission and Ministry. Quigley's husband Patrick was among those killed in the New York City attacks.

Quigley and her co-founder Susan Retik set out on Sept. 9 to cycle from the Ground Zero site in New York to the new Sept. 11 memorial in the Boston Public Garden. They will be joined tomorrow by other cyclists, each pledging to raise $500 for Beyond the 11th. [More information is available at www.beyondthe11th.org.]

Scholarship funds established by family, friends, colleagues and former classmates also have kept alive the memory of those in the BC community who died on Sept. 11. One fund in the name of Welles R. Crowther'99 supports the appointment of a director for volunteer and service learning, while another for Edward Vanacore'94, aids undergraduates who exemplify superior musicianship, service and commitment to the BC Bands program.

Other scholarships memorializing Sept. 11 victims include those named for Patrick M. Aranyos'97, Bryan C. Bennett'98, Danielle A. Delie'76, William G. Minardi'77, Edward J. Papa'76, and Bradley H. Vadas'86.

A recent Burns Library exhibition, "All Available Boats," highlighted the massive maritime evacuation of lower Manhattan that took place on Sept. 11. Through oral history and dramatic photographs, the exhibition evoked the contributions of the captains and crews of New York's ferries, tugboats, fireboats and private vessels, who in cooperation with the Coast Guard evacuated more than 300,000 people - the largest such rescue operation of its kind since Dunkirk in World War II. [A Web site about the exhibition can be viewed at www.bc.edu/libraries/centers/burns/exhibits/highlights/s-boats/.] - Chronicle staff

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