Today, 18 years after the violent and devastating attacks of September 11, 2001, hundreds of Middle and Upper School students, faculty, and staff gathered at Memorial Court for a moment of silence. The sky was as clear as the tragic morning when nearly 3000 people were killed in New York City, Washington DC, and on Flight 93 in a field in Pennsylvania.
Bridget Collins '90, the Charles W. Britton Director of Character and Service, led the memorial reflection. She said, “Thank you for gathering here today at Memorial Court, at a place where McDonogh Remembers. The tribute wall in the 9/11 Memorial Museum in New York reads ‘No Day Shall Erase You From the Memory of Time.’ Today…and every day we are called to remember...because remembering is powerful. It keeps people alive in our hearts and minds.”
She continued, “In remembering these violent acts, what we often forget about are the hours and weeks of solidarity following the tragedy and the outpouring of love here in America and abroad.”
Collins reminded the gathering of how people came together on that day, and in the weeks and months after, to ferry people across the Hudson in the midst of the chaos, donate blood, help with recovery, and aid the families of the victims at all three sites. She spoke of the compassion expressed by nations around the world and described the “Tribute in Light” art installation that appears at the 9/11 Memorial in New York City each year on September 11.
“On this anniversary of terrible violence and hatred, we are called to make our own ‘Tribute in Light.’ We are called to remember the deep compassion and love that shone through the darkness of that day,” Collins said.
She concluded, “May we remember that we are a country known for our diversity and our unity. It is not what makes us weaker, but what makes us stronger. May we be inspired to use our own life’s light to offer others comfort…because we are the peace the world is waiting for.”
While pausing in silence, a flock of geese flew over the memorial gathering adding to the poignant ceremony.