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MIT community offers reflections on Sept. 11, 2001

On Monday, Sept. 11, the MIT Police Department honor guard conducted a remembrance honoring all those who were killed in the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and a student group, Forum on American Progress, held a memorial vigil on the steps of the Student Center.

The guard stood at attention on the steps of the Stratton Student Center at 8:46 a.m. and 9:03 a.m., the moments when American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175 struck the two World Trade Center towers in New York.

The U.S. flag on Killian Court flew at half-staff all day.

The Rev. Amy McCreath, MIT's Episcopal chaplain, spoke at the evening vigil. "9/11 was a very powerful event for the MIT community when it happened, and there is so much that we still have to learn from it," McCreath said.

Recognizing and revisiting the pain of five years ago is part of the Forum on American Progress's (FAP) overall mission, FAP president Ali Wyne said. "While anniversaries of this nature are painful, they offer important and, in many ways, unique opportunities for reflection," he said. "At a time when short-term demands are numerous and urgent, important historical dates like September 11th can compel citizens and leaders alike to think beyond the immediate future."

The FAP planned the vigil to provide an opportunity to ask many questions, Wyne said. "How can the United States prevent the recurrence of an attack on the scale of September 11th?" he asked. "We should ask, 'How can the United States restore the position of leadership that it once enjoyed? How can it defend its security and advance its interests in a manner that enhances the welfare of the global community?'"

The anniversary of the 9/11 attacks is an important time for people to talk and learn, Wyne said.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on September 13, 2006 (download PDF).

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