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September 11 Reflection

Thursday, Sep. 8, 2011

September 11 Reflection

Dear Faculty and Staff,

As we join the nation in observing the tenth anniversary of September 11, we celebrate what historian David O'Brien describes as the heroic generosity of the many good people who died that day. Those who sought to change the tragedy unfolding on Flight 93, the rescue workers who knew the likely outcomes of their heroic acts, and the "people in the stairwell" who helped one another, gave comfort to one another, and prayed together amidst unthinkable horror. They were mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, sons and daughters.

We remember in a special way members of our Santa Clara family - Deora Bodley, a junior at the time, who died on Flight 93, and Captain Lawrence D. Getzfred, USN, class of 1971, who died in the attack on the Pentagon, and the relatives and friends of students, alumni, staff and faculty. We celebrate the gift of their lives and all the innocent who died that day. All who perished are on our minds and in our hearts and will not be forgotten. We pray for their everlasting peace in the presence of God.

The tragedy and death of 9/11 are overcome by the hope and loving response manifested in the selflessness of so many that day and thereafter. Communities joined together in a solidarity of compassion for victims and their families, and we all struggled to understand the incomprehensible. Through 9/11, we remember our connectedness with one another and recognize the presence of God in each other.

As a community in mourning, our communal prayer to God continues, one in which we ask God for peace, for strength, for hope. At the same time, we also thank God for the life of those who died, for the promise of the gift of resurrection, and for the profound acts of love we witnessed that day.

To commemorate 9/11, the Santa Clara University community will hold an Interfaith Service of Remembrance, Reconciliation and Peace on Monday, September 12, at 12:45 p.m. in front of the Mission Church near the memorial roses and plaque that honor our campus connections to the 9/11 tragedy. In prayerful reflection we will remember those who died and recall the prayer recorded at the dedication of the memorial:

"May the God of peace and justice bless and tenderly embrace them and lift up the hearts of all good people of faith, hope, and love."
- Memorial Roses plaque, outside the Mission Church

Michael E. Engh, S.J.

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