Yale to mark Sept. 11 with events, panels

One year after the deadliest terrorist attacks in U.S. history, a series of commemorative events on campus will attempt to give the Yale community a sense of closure.

“It seemed to us that the anniversary was the appropriate moment to learn and reflect on the events of the past year,” events organizer Cynthia Farrar said. “It’s a time to remember and quietly acknowledge the anniversary.”

Farrar and history professor John Gaddis have planned a series of campus events for today and tomorrow.

The two professors also organized the yearlong Democracy, Security and Justice lecture series, which was a response to the Sept. 11 attacks. Gaddis said the commemorative events are also meant to be a culmination of the series.

“This is for us a kind of summing up of the efforts that we were making last year,” Gaddis said.

One of the first events occurs tonight when the residential college masters and the Graduate School will host dinners. The dinners, which will also include members of tomorrow’s faculty panels, are intended to provide an opportunity for discussion and reflection.

“This idea for involving the students is part of a reflection of the students who played a big part in the Democracy, Security and Justice series,” Gaddis said. “We wanted to make sure students felt similarly involved in the anniversary.”

Farrar said she hopes all interested students will attend the residential college dinners.

“We wrestled a lot on how to get student input into this event,” she said. “We wanted to maximize the number of students who would like to have some role in influencing the questions raised in the panels.”

Sept. 11 itself will begin with a minute of silence at 8:45 a.m. A minute later, the bells in Harkness Tower, the Divinity School and throughout the city will ring in commemoration of the moment the first airplane hit the World Trade Center.

The day will continue with interactive faculty panels on topics including geopolitics, religion, law and human rights, and the arts in the aftermath of Sept. 11. Two concerts are scheduled in the early evening.

Sterling Memorial Library will be open for students, faculty and staff all day to watch real-time footage of events around the country, and the Peabody Museum of Natural History will offer free admission all day on Sept. 11.

The day will conclude at 9 p.m. with a candlelight ceremony on Cross Campus led by Yale President Richard Levin and University Chaplain Frederick Streets.

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