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Remove Sept. 11 footage

Letter to the Editor | Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I want to preface my request by stating that I have the utmost respect for Notre Dame professor and former Treasury Under Secretary Jimmy Gurule, whom the University featured in the latest installment of its “What Would You Fight For?” ad series. As an alumna, I applaud his work on behalf of the University to mentor students in the field of international criminal law.

That said, as a New Jersey native, I am appalled that in producing Saturday’s television ad about Prof. Gurule’s work investigating terrorist finance networks the University demonstrated such ill-regard for the families affected by the Sept. 11 attacks. To so casually air graphic footage of Flight 175 crashing into the World Trade Center during the ad’s opening sequence showed a horrific lapse in judgement by the administration.

As a journalist, I recognized we as society are increasingly desensitized to images of war and violence; but the Sept. 11 families do not have the luxury of turning a blind eye. Seven years after losing their loved ones to terror, they are now losing them to time. The last place they should have to relive their loss is during a nationally-televised football game on an otherwise carefree Saturday afternoon.

I am ashamed of the University’s negligence in airing the attack footage, and I ask that it edit the ad to the extent possible out of respect for the families that still grieve.

Borrowing a line from Prof. Gurule, we have a responsibility to build a better society. The University should find a way to do that, honoring the memory of the dead, without offending those they left behind.

Michelle McCarthy


Class of 2006

Sept. 29