Take part in 9/11 commemorative events

Lawrence Wright (Random House)

A talk by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Lawrence Wright, “9/11 Ten Years Later,” is one of a number of free, public events scheduled at Vanderbilt University to commemorate the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

Wright’s talk on Sunday, Sept. 11, begins at 7 p.m. in Langford Auditorium and is presented by Vanderbilt’s Project Dialogue series and Office of Active Citizenship and Service.

His book, The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11, was published in 2006 and spent eight weeks on The New York Times best seller list. It has been translated into 25 languages and was nominated for the National Book Award. In addition to winning the Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction, the book has won the Lionel Gelber Award for nonfiction, the Los Angeles Times Award for History, the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize and the New York Public Library Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism. The New York School of Journalism heralded the book as one the 10 best works of journalism in the previous decade.

Wright will be available for a book signing in the Langford Auditorium lobby following his talk.

(Random House)

Copies of his book will be available for purchase.

On Monday evening, Sept. 12, at 7 p.m., a screening of Wright’s documentary “My Trip to Al-Qaeda” will also be held in Langford Auditorium.

Other free, public events at Vanderbilt commemorating 9/11 include:

Sunday, Sept. 11

  • 7:30 a.m., Commemoration Ceremony: This solemn 25-minute ceremony will be held at the flagpole on Alumni Lawn and will include the raising of the flag to half-staff by ROTC/NROTC, commemorations of 9/11 victims including Vanderbilt graduates, a minute of silence at the time of the first strike, a prayer of peace and music.
  • 2:30 p.m., Interfaith Service of Prayer, Remembrance and Hope at Benton Chapel: The service will include music offered by Vanderbilt students and Blair School of Music Children’s Choirs, readings by representatives of various faith traditions, the presence of ROTC/NROTC and police/fire personnel as well as members of the Interfaith Council, Divinity School and Vanderbilt Student Government. Included in the service will be a time to honor the memory of the victims of the attacks including three Vanderbilt graduates.
  • 4 p.m., In Memoriam: Songs of 9/11: Vanderbilt Blair School of Music faculty artists will present a program in remembrance of the 10th anniversary of 9/11, and in celebration of life in the aftermath. There will be readings and musical performances – the centerpiece is the song cycle Race for the Sky by Richard Pearson Thomas that was composed from texts left at various spots around Ground Zero in the days following 9/11. This event will be held in the Steve and Judy Turner Recital Hall at the Blair School of Music.

Tuesday, Sept. 13

6:30 – 8 p.m., Panel discussion – “The 10-Year Shadow of 9/11: How would America Be Different Without It?”: Panelists include Richard McGregor, Vanderbilt associate professor of religious studies; Dana Nelson, Gertrude Conaway Professor of English and American Studies at Vanderbilt, and Thomas Schwartz, Vanderbilt professor of history. Gene Policinski, senior vice president and executive director of the First Amendment Center, will moderate the event. The panel discussion is part of a new partnership between Vanderbilt’s Office of Active Citizenship and Service and the First Amendment Center. The event will be held at The John Seigenthaler Center located at 1207 18th Ave. S. Parking is available at the covered lot across the street from the center.

Vanderbilt students also will perform community service throughout the weekend during the university’s second annual “9/11 Weekend of Service” organized by the Office of Active Citizenship and Service.