Today the Franklin & Marshall community gathered in remembrance of the lives lost and shared suffering created by the attacks of September 11, 2001. On a crystal clear day that was reminiscent of the weather here eleven years ago, College Chaplain Susan Minasian led us in a deeply thoughtful reflection.
Afterwards, Susan invited us to place one stone of remembrance on Franklin & Marshall’s 9/11 Memorial, Votive K by Fritz Koenig. As Rev. Minasian said:
“In the Jewish tradition people leave a stone when they visit a grave. Rabbi Andrew Straus offers the following explanation: ‘Ritual is a way of expressing our emotions and spiritual needs. We need physical acts to express these things for us, to make them concrete…[the person’s] values, morals, ideals live on and continue to impress me—just as the stone has made an impression on my hands—so too their life has made an impression on me that continues.’”
Susan continued by asking us to take a second stone along with us after the ceremony. She said, “Let this second stone help you remember what you have learned. What this moment in time and history has taught you.” She reminded us why we should never forget.
At the end of our moment of mediation and prayer, we could hear the beautiful sound of a piano coming from Franklin-Meyran Hall. Susan asked, “Do you hear that music? That is a message to us that we are called to live. Let’s go live.”
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Through this blog, I seek both to express the meaning that our community of students, faculty and professional staff make on campus together and also to add a more intimate educator's perspective to the national dialogue on issues affecting college students and alumni. I invite you to share your comments and engage with other readers as we explore issues related to the greatness of youth, life at Franklin & Marshall College, academic excellence, supporting faculty and student research, increasing civic outreach among students, and providing support for students' personal and professional development.
President, Franklin & Marshall College
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