On a crisp and serene Tuesday morning similar to Sept. 11, 2001, dozens of members of the Franklin & Marshall community gathered at the College's September 11 Memorial to mark the 11th anniversary of the worst terrorist attack in American history.
The Rev. Susan A. Minasian, College chaplain, officiated the 9 a.m. ceremony on F&M's Klauder-Apple Walkway between Dietz and Meyran halls. Minasian urged the students, faculty members and professional staff in attendance to remember the love, bravery and honor of each person who perished that day.
"Our hearts might still be heavy, but our spirits are called to soar," Minasian said. "Because in our soaring we join the spirits of those who have died, and together we can change the world to be a better place, a more peaceful place, a more productive place, a more humble place, where all of God's children are invited to have life and have it abundantly."
The College's September 11 Memorial includes the names of the four members of the F&M community who died in the terrorist attacks:
- Jeffrey M. Chairnoff '88 (World Trade Center)
- Maureen "Rene" Olson, mother of Christopher Olson '05 (World Trade Center)
- Edward J. Perrotta, father of Joseph E. Parrotta '06 (World Trade Center)
- Mark D. "Mickey" Rothenberg '70 (United Airlines Flight 93)
F&M affixed its memorial plaque in 2003 to a sculpture titled Votive K, by German sculptor Fritz Koenig. Koenig also designed The Sphere, a 25-foot sculpture that stood at the base of the World Trade Center and was heavily damaged in the Sept. 11 attacks.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, Minasian invited those in attendance to place stones at the memorial—similar to a custom in the Jewish tradition, the reverend said. She also invited people to take a second stone to keep for themselves.
"Let this second stone help you remember what you have learned, and what this moment in time and history has taught you," Minasian said. "What do want your life to be about? When you see it or feel it, remember that the future of our country and the future of the world depends not on the fact that we have remembered, but on the way and how we remembered."
Several members of F&M's student-run Emergency Medical Services attended the ceremony, including Janice Karbachinskiy '15, Meghan Maloney '13 and Matthew Momjian '14. Though the students were young children when the attacks occurred, they said it was important to honor the victims of Sept. 11.
"I recently became an EMT, and [honoring the memory of Sept. 11] definitely means a lot more to me now that I know about emergency medical services," Maloney said.
Karbachinskiy said emergency services from her hometown of Morristown, N.J., supported the rescue effort in New York City during the terrorist attacks.
"My home squad sent an ambulance to New York. Since I couldn't be home today, it's nice to be part of remembering here [at F&M]," Karbachinskiy said.