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University Community Remembers Sept. 11

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Mike Ross, UNH Photographic Services

“If there is to be peace in the world, there must be peace in the nations. If there is to be peace in the nations, there must be peace in the cities. If there is to be peace between neighbors, there must be peace in the home. If there is to be peace in the home, there must be peace in the heart. – Lao Tse Chinese philosopher.

Ten years ago on Sept. 11, the UNH community gathered for a candlelight vigil in response to the terrorist attacks on America. On Friday, Sept. 9, they came together to remember.

“Today, we recognize the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks. But we also gather to honor the sacrifice, service, and heroism of those in our community who gave—and continue to give—for a greater good,” President Mark Huddleston said.

As he and others spoke, 200 ROTC cadets flanked the flagpole on the Thompson Hall lawn while members of the UNH community gathered nearby to hear him and area clergy commemorate the solemn anniversary.

Huddleston spoke of the reminders of the Sept. 11 attacks that exist on campus: the granite bench near Murkland Hall dedicated to geography professor Robert LeBlanc, who died when United Flight 175 crashed into the World Trade Center; in the library where the stories of three UNH alumni who were killed in that day along with LeBlanc: Jennifer Fialko '94, Judd Cavalier '98, and Timothy Stout '83; and the new names added to the wall in the Memorial Room at the MUB where New Hampshire soldiers who have died in war are honored.

“Today, we gather as a family to remember. Indeed, the university is a larger family now, too, and stronger.  Our bonds extend beyond Durham and into the distant corners of the globe,” Huddleston said. “As we walk around campus, we experience our reminders of Sept. 11 as a call to action and unity, and as an inspiration to service and sacrifice for a greater good.”

The ceremony included the singing of the National Anthem, a bag piper playing “Amazing Grace”, a moment of silence and remarks by area celery.

Rabbi Samuel Seicol of Temple Israel in Dover shared the Lao Tse quote about where peace must begin. Rev. Mary Westfall of the Community Church of Durham spoke of healing.

“Grief puts a hole in our hearts. The job then becomes to fill it with something,” Westfall said, adding people need to make intentional choices to fill their hearts and lives “with those things that add to life; that add to community.”

“The world is hungry for compassion," she said.