Events to attend at AU today
Sept. 11: A day to remember
Several AU students and organizations are sponsoring a series of events on and off campus in an effort to remind students of the lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001, and turn the second anniversary of the terrorist attacks into a day of service and commemoration rather than a day of mourning and sorrow.
The day will begin with a vigil in the Kay Spiritual Life Center at 8:30 a.m. According to University Chaplain Joe Eldridge, chaplains of all faiths will be available until 11:30 a.m. More than two dozenchaplains representing all major faiths have been notified of the event. Most are expected to be on hand.
While some students remain skeptical about "celebrating" an event such as Sept. 11, others believe it is important to remember the events of the day and the people who died.
"If it helps people cope with the situation then it is good, but you shouldn't expect students to participate," junior Nina Beck said.
Eldridge will make remarks during the ceremonies later in the day. He said that "it is important and fitting that the University remembers its fallen alumni in an appropriate way and that they are paid tribute, respect and homage."
Freshman Sean Sims agreed, "The anniversary should definitely be recognized. It shouldn't be ignored," he said.
The day's events will culminate with a commemorative wreath- laying ceremony on the Quad at noon. Eldridge, Student Confederation President Nick Terzulli, Class of 2004 President E.J. Stern and AU President Benjamin Ladner are all expected to speak at the ceremony.
Terzulli, a New Yorker, did not anticipate the emotion he would feel when writing his speech for the event.
"We all need to set aside at least a few minutes of our busy days to reflect on what happened," Terzulli said. "This year's events won't be as elaborate as last year, but it is important to do at least something every year to remember."
To honor the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks and their families and loved ones, AU students will take to the streets of D.C. from 1 to 8 p.m. to participate in "The September 11 Service Project." Sponsored by the SC, Class of 2004, College Republicans, Alpha Phi Omega, School of International Service, X-Cetera, and the University Chaplain's Office, the project is being held in conjunction with the national movement One Day's Pay (www.onedayspay.org).
SC Vice President Marguerite Meyer is coordinating the service project alongside the Salvation Army, the Boys and Girls Club of D.C. and Washington Parks and People.
"We want to establish 9-11 as a day of service, not just mourning," Meyer said.
Meyer is optimistic that the service project will commemorate the victims of Sept. 11 by doing service in their names, and at the same time, build the AU community at large.
About 125 students have signed up for the event, but not necessarily to participate. Buses will run every hour from 1 to 8 p.m. from the shuttle stops and there will be a coordinator at the stop to organize teams to do service throughout the city.
The day will end with a screening of the documentaries "Islam in America after September 11th and Muslims in Appalachia: Islam in Exile." The documentaries will be shown from 4 to 7 p.m. in the Mary Graydon Center, Room 200. Producers of the films will be on hand after the screenings to answer questions and facilitate a discussion about Islam in America. The event is sponsored by the United Methodist Community, the Muslim Student Association of American University and Vital Visions Incorporated. United Methodist will also be holding a special service for 9-11 during its regularly scheduled service at 11 p.m.
"We're hopeful that people will respond to the students' needs on this day as well as allow them to understand more about their neighbors around the world," United Methodist Chaplain Mark A. Schaefer said. "We hope students will travel down the road and gain a mutual understanding about violence and discrimination"