Over 250 people sat in hushed solemnity during a vigil last week as USM officials answered post-attack questions.

President Richard Pattenaude and other USM officials appeared at Tuesday’s vigil in the Brooks Dining Hall on the Gorham campus. They talked about student concerns and encouraged participants to offer their thoughts and feelings about how Tuesday’s attack may affect their university experience.

“We are all kind of in a state of numbness,” said Craig Hutchinson, vice president for Student Development. “We all thought it couldn’t happen here. I didn’t think it could happen here.”

Pattenaude echoed Hutchinson’s remarks, stating that the attack on the United States would begin a complex process of thinking and of profound disbelief.

“It is truly a disaster of incredible proportion,” he said.

Pattenaude also stressed the importance of the integrity of student reaction to the attack.

“In this new, unbrave world of cowardice and killing, it is easy to be angry,” he said. “Do not judge people whom you do not know. Don’t be angry foolishly.”

At the closure of the conference, students and staff departed as silently and pensively as they had gathered.

Staff Writer Alex Steed can be contacted at [email protected]


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