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Editor’s Note

by Sep. 1, 2011, 2:36 PM

(image courtesy of Helene Dunbar)

Ten years ago, tragic events took place that changed America forever. There is no getting around that. There exists in our memories the time before Sept. 11, 2001, and the time after it, and those time periods are profoundly different. The enormity of the emotional and physical impact – seeing the twin towers crumble and fall, the dust-cloaked New Yorkers fleeing the city, the wreckage in Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania, the mountains of rubble where thousands were lost – cannot be reconciled in our minds.

Even a decade later, these unfathomable incidents are not something with which we entirely can make peace. Whether we were near ground zero breathing in the fiery dust, or in some far-flung place, dumbstruck, riveted to Peter Jennings and the images on our TV screens, the wounds within us are very real. We cannot and should not be the same.

Some of us have stuffed down the memories and tried to forget. Others began mourning that day and mourn still.

With the 10th anniversary of 9/11 upon us, it is fitting to remember and to reflect, for that is how we grieve and heal.

In this month’s issue of the View, we asked several members of the Vanderbilt community to share their stories, for our cover story and an audio slide show. They are powerful and real and heartbreaking, even 10 years after the tragic event. You can share your memories of the day as well. Just visit this month’s cover story, and leave a comment at the end. Won’t you join the conversation?

A number of events are scheduled on campus to commemorate the day and honor those who died. You can find a complete list online. Please take time to participate in one of these events. Even though Nashville is far from where the attacks took place, this tragedy affected us all.

The anniversary falls on a Sunday, and a 7:30 a.m. ceremony will be held Sept. 11 at the flagpole on Alumni Lawn. I hope to see you there.

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