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Community events will mark 9/11 anniversary

A number of events have been organized by members of the MIT community to mark the anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and to explore aspects of personal and global recovery.

The MIT events are being coordinated by the Sept. 11 Anniversary Committee (a group of more than 30 faculty, students and staff coordinated by Kirk Kolenbrander, special assistant to the president and the chancellor) to provide opportunities for personal and shared reflection; to continue trying to understand what occurred; and to offer an opportunity for considering social, institutional and personal responsibilities.

The community events begin on Sunday, Sept. 8 with a tribute to area residents and MIT community members who raised funds, gathered donations and frequently traveled by bus to Ground Zero in New York to assist the cleanup crews there.

"Though the events of 9/11 were the work of a few, millions responded with an unprecedented outpouring of volunteerism and donations. Ordinary people did extraordinary things," said Gayle Willman, faculty liaison in Academic Media Production Services and an organizer of the event, which will be held in Room 10-250 from 2 to 3:30 p.m.

Representatives from the New York Fire Department and other Ground Zero workers will be among the speakers, and a New York sanitation worker will sing "God Bless America" as he did every morning before recovery work began at Ground Zero. Admission to the tribute is free and no registration is required.

A reception will follow at the Reflecting Wall, a replica of a fragment of the wall of the World Trade Center that was installed next to the MIT Chapel last fall.

Prior to the talk, a special program will be presented by New York firefighters for children ages 7-12. Registration for the children's program is available in the MITAC office through Friday, Sept. 6.

Early registration is recommended for the children's event; no registration is required for the community event. Both are free. For more information, e-mail


On Monday, Sept. 9, faculty members will offer two panel discussions. The first, "MIT's Responsibility in a Dangerous World," is sponsored by the Program in Science, Technology and Society and will take place from 3 to 5 p.m. in Killian Hall (Room 14W-111).

The second forum, sponsored by the Center for International Studies, will be held in Killian Hall from 6 to 8 p.m. Its title is "Responses to Sept. 11: The U.S., Europe, and the Middle East." Participants will include political science professors Stephen van Evera and Suzanne Berger. Both panel discussions are free and open to the public.


Several events are scheduled for Sept. 11, including:

  • An all-community campus gathering for students, faculty and staff at 5 p.m. on Kresge Oval, sponsored by the Office of the Chancellor and Office of the President
  • An all-day Vigil for Remembrance, Peace and Healing from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the MIT Chapel, sponsored by the MIT chaplains
  • A holy communion service in honor of the victims of Sept. 11 at 6 p.m. in the MIT Chapel, sponsored by the Lutheran Episcopal Ministry
  • "Museums Celebrate America's Freedoms: Joining Communities in a Day of Remembrance" from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the MIT Museum (Building N52)
  • An open art studio for personal expression, sponsored by Artists Behind the Desk
  • A seminar sponsored by the Security Studies Program and the Center for International Studies on "9/11: The War on Terror a Year Later" with Nazli Choucri, Owen Cote, Harvey Sapolsky and Steve Van Evera, noon to 1:30 p.m. in Room E38-615
  • A lecture, "Cities and Resurrection: Jerusalem and Us," at 5:30 p.m. in Room 10-485, by Professor of Architecture Julian Beinart
  • "Vigil of Light," public gatherings at Magazine Beach and Weeks Footbridge on the Charles River from 7:45 to 8:30 p.m.
  • Panel on Muslim reactions to Sept. 11, 3 p.m. in Room 2-190, sponsored by the MIT Muslim Students Association

Complete listings are listed here.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on August 28, 2002.

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