Reflections on September 11

My Roommate and His Brother

In September 1966, as an incoming freshman I was matched with Robert F. Kean from Dalton, Mass. He came to St. A's from a big family. His older brother Richard came to St. A's the following year. I got to know Bob and Dick over the next 3 years and all their family. We went on dates and I met both their future wives and eventually their children. Bob settled near Philly and Dick in Wethersfield, Conn. I had kept up with both all the years after we graduated. Then the awful news about Dick- rarely traveling to The World Trade Center just happened to be there that awful day. It was a shock to all of us that he was lost during a rare visit to the Twin Towers. There were moving services for Dick–St. Patrick's Cathedral–arranged by the college/another moving tribute and Mass in Wethersfield and, a service of remembrance at the college in the College Church.. The college really showed how important we all are to the school. For my roommate, Bob and me I will always remember all the many things the community did during that awful time for those two graduates from Saint Anselm.

Posted by George T. Neary '70

I was in my seventh grade science class taking care of a plant for a science experiment we were doing when the principal informed us that two buildings fell and we were being sent home early. My mom worked at the school, and when I got down to her office, the TV was on and I got down there and kept watching the news watching the towers fall over and over and over again.

I didn't really understand the enormity of the situation as I do now. I would have to say that until a couple summers ago, I really did not comprehend how much 9-11 really affected me. Yeah, the towers fell, the skyline changed forever, airport security tightened, but it suddenly became more personal for me.

As a member of the rescue team at St. A's, I had an opportunity to join the New Boston fire department, which I took up, and became a firefighter. Little did I know that I was not only taking on a new profession/calling, but I was joining a family. the following summer, I found out my supervisor's dad was with FDNY and died on 9-11. I guess I was missing the personal connection, but ever since then I take the day more seriously. I don't stop my life for the day, because then the terrorists have won. Rather, I put extra love into everything I do that day particularly. I do whatever I can to honor the memory of those lost.

I work at the CT state park which is home to the State of Connecticut 9-11 memorial, and today was a moving day at the park. There was a constant stream of people flowing to and from the memorial proving that no one has been forgotten. We remember always, because they live on in our hearts as Americans.

I stood at that memorial today, the same spot from which you could see the smoke from the twin towers ten years ago, and felt a certain pain that I think all Americans feel (whether they admit it or not). These brutal attacks were not aimed at one or two Americans, they were aimed at all of us, and it bothers me when people mock 9-11 or play it down because we as Americans are part of a giant family, and we lost 3,000 of our brothers and sisters that day.

Tonight I was watching the 9-11 documentary on CBS, and the closing quote was very powerful. Tony, the probationary firefighter which the documentary was about simply stated: "The legacy of the Trade Centers should not be one of death, but rather, it should be a legacy of Life." We will rebuild stronger and taller because we will stand firm.

Finally, I would like to share a poem I saw at the memorial that I think puts it perfectly:

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glint on snow,
I am the sunlight on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you wake in the morning hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush,
Of quiet birds in circling flight,
I am the soft starlight at night.

Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there, I did not die!

Mary Frye (1932)

Thank you and God Bless America

Post by Peter Zamachaj '11

Hardly a day passes where I don’t think of it. Either in my conscious thought, or in the horrific images that haunt my dreams, 9/11 became a part of me. My life changed forever when I looked up and watched helplessly as the 767 crashed above my head, and later as I ran through the ash, smoke and debris. I was 22 years old that day in September, but I think that being so young actually helped me; my resolve was strong. I was terrified, but I knew that if I lived my life in fear, they would win. My heart aches for the lives that were so needlessly lost.

I will always remain in awe of our 9/11 heroes: the first responders who ran into those burning buildings, undeterred by the grave danger awaiting them, the brave men and women of flight 93 who gave their lives to prevent the loss of so many more, and our troops who fight everyday to protect us here at home. Ten years later, as we remember and reflect, my hope is that we always remember 9/11 and that we can grow stronger and unite as a nation against those who wish us harm. May God bless America. Rest in peace dear souls, rest in peace.

Posted by Jennifer W. (Murray) Kelber '01

The morning of September 11, 2001 found me still in bed after a late shift as a local police officer in New Hampshire. After watching the footage all day, it was very difficult to go into work that evening and stay positive. The tragedy on that terrible day has since brought me to Iraq for 2 years as an explosive dog handler and as a guard for the US Ambassador to Iraq. Now 10 years later, I find myself in the heart of our nation's capitol on the anniversary working for the Department of State to continue keeping our people safe throughout the world.

Kayaking along the Potomic River this morning, reminded me of how great our nation is. Paddling along the river, watching everyone move in peace and viewing the enormous American flags flowing from the various skyscrapers left me in awe.

God Bless all of those lost that day and the men and women of our armed services and State Department who have lost their lives since then to protect our freedom and the peace we are able to live in.

Posted by Jeffrey Downing '00

This post was submitted by Communications and Marketing.

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