Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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NU community commemorates 10-year anniversary of 9/11

Ten years after 9/11, Hillel president Ben Goldberg can still remember precisely where he when he learned of the attacks: sitting in his sixth-grade homeroom classroom in Philadelphia. He also remembers the long hug he and his father shared that evening.

“It (9/11) made us realize how fortunate we were and how important it was for us to be together,” the Weinberg senior said.

Goldberg was one of more than 50 Northwestern community members who attended the University’s Sept. 11 commemoration at The Rock on Sunday. The event, which was sponsored by campus religious life organizations and the Office of the University Chaplains, gave those in attendance a chance to share reflections, ranging from ‘where were you’ memories like Golderbg ‘s to discussion of how religion can help people cope with tragedy.

Along with other faculty members, University President Morton Schapiro recounted his memories and thoughts on 9/11. Morton was the president of Williams College at the time, and three people associated with the college, including one recent graduate, were victims of the attacks.

After Schapiro, other students shared their memories and personal stories about 9/11. SESP sophomore Dahlia Gruen spoke about the fact that her birthday fell on the same day as the terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, DC.

In an attempt reconcile the celebratory nature of a birthday with the day’s somber events, she created a website called www.birthdayspirit.org a few months after the attacks, which fell on her 10th birthday.

According to her website, it is a place for people to “share their feelings, to get and give advice to those who are having trouble since this day has turned around on us, to remember the good that was born on this day, and to see what good we can do since we have this special birthday.”

NU Interfaith Initiative President Zach Joachim spoke at the commemoration. In his speech, the Weinberg senior said 9/11 created two narratives: one a story of violence and fear and the other a story of the growing unity between different religious communities.

He said the latter offered an important lesson.

“Religion is not something to be condemned,” he said. “(Religious communities) have values that are valuable in mobilizing social good.”

Associate University Chaplain Wendy Mathewson said events like Sunday’s commemoration are an important part of that healing process, even a decade after the event.

“Remembering is part of what we need to do to move forward,” Mathewson said. “Events like this that bring people together give them a sense of community and help them feel supported.”

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Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881
NU community commemorates 10-year anniversary of 9/11