Many of us have vivid memories of where we were and what we were doing at the moment we heard the news of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Yet, today’s college students were very young and have learned about the attacks from other accounts.
This morning, on the 18th anniversary of the attacks, a small group of students, staff and faculty came together to remember the victims and to pray for peace. The brief service was led by Chaplain Paul Sittason Stark.
“We suffered many deaths that day. It’s been a major part of our lives. Many of us do not remember (that day), but many of us do. We remember where we were and what we were doing,” Paul said.
Just as with other acts of terror in our nation and around the world, “We need to respond.”
The response, Paul said, is to love and work for peace.
Today’s prayer service was symbolically held at Heidelberg’s Peace Pole in front of the Campus Center. The pole represents the greatest majority of the world’s languages and faith traditions. In that vein, those attending the service recited prayers for peace from various faith traditions, among them Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist and Baha’i. The overarching theme was “May peace prevail on Earth.”
Those in attendance observed moments of silence “to remember the victims of the day and all the victims of hatred,” Paul said. “I hope you will all carry these messages with you each day and seek peace on a personal level.”