Some students embraced, others stayed silent as the USM community reflected the events of one year ago. A ceremony on the Gorham campus remembered the lives lost on Sept 11.
President Richard Pattenaude spoke at the ceremony, and described the attacks as an “assault on our sense of ourselves as a country.” He said [the ceremony] was important because it gave students and faculty a chance to feel again the sense of loss we felt one year ago.
An Interfaith ceremony took place after the President’s speech. Community members read prayers and scriptures from a variety of faiths.
Shirley Williams, Interfaith Chaplain intern asked everyone to take out flashlights. Rainy weather brought students inside, where flashlights were substituted for candles. Students shined their flashlights on the ceiling in a sign of unity to the music of I Hope You Dance, by Lee Ann Womack. Williams said the world can see “the light of this community.”
Many students were overwhelmed with emotion after the ceremony.
“It reminds us that sometimes unexpected things happen,” said Kate Murphy, sophomore linguistics major.
Bridget Mathers, a senior English major said that it’s important to remember. “It gives us a sense of friends, when you feel alone you look around and see everyone [going through the same thing]” Her cousin Katelyn Mathers, a freshman therapeutic recreation major said, “It gives me a sense of pride for the country. [We] can come together and strive for peace, hopefully.”
A facilitated discussion was held in the entrance to Health Services in Upton Hall following the ceremony. Williams ended the ceremony by saying, “We must choose life, and ultimately choose joy.”