Today we remember every victim of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
Although 20 years have passed, I know that each of us in the Medgar Evers College family observes this anniversary in our own, personal way. Wherever you were on that fateful day, you will always recall how you heard the news about the terrorist attacks.
Many students who are entering Medgar Evers College were not yet born on that infamous Tuesday morning. Nearly 3,000 died as the Twin Towers collapsed in Manhattan, the Pentagon in Washington was struck, and an airplane crashed in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Collectively, these events remain the deadliest act of terrorism in history. Those who have lived through this difficult moment and the dark days that followed recognize the enormity of this tragedy and how its aftermath two decades later has left an indelible mark on our nation’s psyche.
As Americans and New Yorkers, we share the bond of honoring those who perished and celebrating their lives and contributions. We acknowledge their sacrifices, and we carry with us the examples of heroism and bravery demonstrated by so many on that mournful day.
While thousands of our fellow human beings lost their lives in New York City, Shanksville, and Washington, the events of September 11th were an attack on all people who value peace and good will. They were aimed at eroding our hope, our sense of safety, and our belief that good always triumphs over evil.
Our times are characterized by discord and upheaval, and world events provide many examples of those who seek to divide us and erase our humanity. But on this day we come together to remember those who we have lost and to reaffirm our commitment to unity and respect for all people. Let it be said that the victims did not perish in vain as we do our part to build a world that is more tolerant, equitable, and just.
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