On the picturesque late summer day of Sept. 9 -- a day not unlike Sept. 11, 2001 -- the Penn State Abington community gathered to honor the nearly 3,000 victims of the terrorist attacks.
The simple remembrance was held in a room devoid of chairs or obvious decoration, which was symbolic, according to Associate Director of Student Affairs Gina Kaufmann. “It is appropriate that we stand in memory of those who were lost,” she said.
Students, faculty and staff solemnly lined the room as Chancellor Karen Wiley Sandler offered her reflections on the 10-year anniversary.
“Some died in the course of their daily activities, working to support their families, while others risked all to save people who needed them,” she said. “One of the lessons learned from this tragic event is how connected we are to all humanity. We lost our sons and daughters, our brothers and sisters, our friends and neighbors.”
Following a moment of silence, volunteers quietly approached the podium in the dimly lit room and read the names of the victims. Others respectfully bowed their heads and closed their eyes as they contemplated the lives lost and the lives changed forever.
Recalling the lyrics to an old song, Sandler challenged the audience to “let there be peace on Earth and let it begin with us.”