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University remembers 9/11 attack

Emily Schrank | Friday, September 10, 2010

Saturday marks the ninth anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, and the University community will remember the tragedy that claimed nearly 3,000 lives in a variety of ways throughout the weekend.

Former United States Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge will be on campus today to deliver a lecture titled “A Conversation with Tom Ridge.”

Edward Conlon, professor and associate dean in the Mendoza College of Business, said that one of the College’s advisory board members, who is also a friend of Ridge, approached Conlon and the other deans about having the former secretary speak during this nationally significant weekend.

“He indicated that he may be able to convince the secretary to come to Notre Dame for the weekend of the ninth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, and wanted to know if the Mendoza College would be interested in hosting him,” Conlon said. “Obviously, we were.”

Conlon said Ridge plans to discuss his observations on how the United States has responded to the terrorist threat since 9/11. Conlon also expects Ridge will give his opinion about how he thinks the future of the United States and terrorism will unfold.

“We have asked Secretary Ridge to comment on how the threat of terrorism has impacted the economic institutions of the world, including markets and businesses,” Conlon said.

There will be a question and answer session after Ridge speaks, Conlon said.

“It is truly a great opportunity for the Notre Dame community to hear Secretary Ridge’s thoughts on the past, present and future of homeland security,” he said. “As the first director of Homeland Security, he has a unique and well-honed perspective on the challenges we will all face in minimizing the effect that terrorism has on the way we all live our lives.”

Ridge will also be recognized at the football game against Michigan Saturday.

“Secretary Ridge will stand with [University President Fr. Jenkins], be introduced to the crowd and hand our national colors to the individuals involved in the flag presentation ceremony,” University spokesman Dennis Brown said.

Additionally, the Notre Dame football team will remember the anniversary of the terrorist attacks by wearing shirts with a red, white and blue interlocking ND during their early warm-ups, Brown said.

“The Army Black Daggers parachute team will bring the American flag and the game ball into the stadium in a pre-game ceremony,” Brown said. “We will also observe a moment of silence to be followed by a prayer by Fr. Jenkins.”

Many students do not need a special ceremony to remember the tragic events that shook the country nine years ago.

“I’m from New York and knew lots who lost loved ones on 9/11,” student body president Catherine Soler said.  “It’s definitely something that still hits home for me.”