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Campus commemorates lives lost in 9/11 attack

| Friday, September 9, 2016

Starting at 8:46 a.m. Sunday — the time the World Trade Center’s north tower was struck — the Basilica bells will begin ringing; they will continue to ring until 9:03 a.m., the time that the second tower was hit.

Sunday marks the 15-year anniversary of 9/11 — 15 years since the biggest attack on American soil since Pearl Harbor.

There will be several opportunities Sunday for Notre Dame students and community members to remember those who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks.

University President Emeritus Fr. Edward Malloy, who was in office when the attacks occurred, will lead a prayer service on South Quad at 9:15 a.m. near the flag pole.

The service will include the presentation of colors by the Notre Dame ROTC Color Guard and the playing of the national anthem by members of the Notre Dame Marching Band. At its conclusion, a silent procession of prayer and meditation to the Grotto will occur in remembrance of the victims.

Faculty members at Notre Dame have also organized a panel discussion titled “Fifteen Years after the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks: Reassessing the Threat of International Terrorism and the Domestic and Global Response.” The event will take place Sept. 22 and is free of charge and open to the public.

Political science professor Michael Desch, who will sit on the panel, said not only was the U.S. surprised by the attack, but “the attacks seared themselves into popular consciousness” by coming about 10 years after the Cold War era.

“It was a vivid reminder of the dangerousness of the world at a time when we were feeling pretty good about ourselves,” he said.

The attacks came at a time in American history when international affairs were hitting a period of pacification, Desch said. As a result, the acts of terrorism came with further and much larger implications.

“After this attack, we saw an increase in the belief that the U.S. had to become more deeply engaged in running the world with military might,” he said.

As the years go by, each new class of students remembers less and less about what it was like to live in the U.S. on and after Sept. 11, 2oo1. In just a few years, college freshmen will have been born after the attacks occurred.

That makes remembering the events even more important, Desch said.

“Since the freshmen of the graduating class of 2020 were only three and four at the time of the attacks, it is not only important for the University to commemorate the attacks, but also to critically evaluate big events such as these to learn from them,” Desch said.

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