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Four years in review: Faith sustains students after Sept. 11

Observer Viewpoint | Friday, May 13, 2005

I do not write editorials. Most times I don’t write because it takes too much time to do it. This time I must make an exception. Today I saw one of the most frightening and most amazing things in my life. In one day I saw how evil and terrible humans can be and the way we can group together in a time of crisis.

I myself did not realize what happened until I walked into my first class. I saw hugs being given out and people talking with a tone I haven’t heard before as I walked to DeBartolo Hall. I stepped into my classroom to be greeted by the words “America Under Attack” written on the screen.

My America? The land of the free and home of the brave? This great country which I have come to grow up in and feel connected to?

The rubble was all over the screen and the smoke filled the sky. I turned around and proceeded quickly to return to my dorm. In my dorm as I once again saw destruction and death, a sense of sadness came over me. I quickly felt pain for everyone who was hurt, was killed and knew people that had their lives taken away.

At the end of the Mass, I witnessed from the choir risers one of the most uplifting scenes in my short life. As the whole campus sang the Alma Mater with arms around their neighbors, the sense of community radiated out and blew me away.

This is what Notre Dame is all about. The togetherness and unity in our University cannot be matched anywhere else.

I don’t know why I am writing this. I have no controversial opinion, no topic that needs to be discussed. It seems as though I don’t know much today.

All that I thought was safe and a constant in my life has suddenly been questioned. The only thing I can do is to turn to my Lord. In this time of trouble and turmoil, the Lord is the one we must turn to. He is that one that can shine light into the darkness. He did not cause this destruction – humans did through free choice, but He can bring great things out of it.

Paul SifuentesAlumni HallfreshmanSept. 11, 2001