Call to Compassion: Remembering 9/11

by Soin Alexander
Call to Compassion: Remembering 9/11

On September 11, 2012, the Bloomfield College community gathered on the Quad to remember and honor those who passed away tragically on September 11, 2001. This year marks the 11th anniversary of the terrorist attack on the United States.

Rev. Sherry Karasik, college chaplain, continued with the candle tradition she started last year by having students and faculty members light the candle as the Candlelighting Act of Remembrance was recited. Together, the assembly recited, “For the passengers on American Airlines Flight 11, Flight 77, and United Flight 175 and 93 which were flown into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and into the field in Pennsylvania. For the workers who perished in the World Trade Center. For the firefighters, police, and rescue workers who died trying to save others. For the military personnel and civilians who were working at the Pentagon. For those who have died in the war in Afghanistan and finally, for those who felt so wronged as to be willing to go on suicide missions and for those who sent them.” The community sang, “Amazing Grace.”

Members of the Bloomfield College community offered something to this day. Guitarists Bob Martinez, RN, director of health services and student Travis Alexander sang the folk song “Where Have All the Flowers Gone” and the “Blackbird” by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, which emphasizes what one needs to learn from a tragic event and at the same time fly on “into the light.” Lucia Winston, office of personal counseling, read Maya Angelou’s poem, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” which talked about the value of freedom. Tawn Walker, EOF counselor, sang “There is a Balm in Gilead” with lyrics about teaching people how to love so we don’t need to go through this war again.

The event also included verses from both the Jewish and Christian Scriptures. Psalm 46, and Matthew 5:3-1 that spoke about how “God is our refuge” and that those who had perished that day will always be remembered.

“This is a call to be compassionate, to transform, and to serve one another,” Karasik said to the gathered community. “And there are many opportunities right here with your neighbor as well as opportunities to serve the greater community.”

With that, Karasik encouraged everyone as “a call to commission and compassion” to contribute to the posters that would serve as the Wall of Remembrance. Many people grabbed the black marker and started writing down what was in their hearts. Some people wrote about vowing to love stronger and serve others, and live the words that Rev. Karasik mentioned. There were comments for everyone that died on that tragic day from R.I.P. and be blessed by God. People also reminded that lives should be cherished and we shouldn’t forget the people and pray for them forever. The posters will be hanging in the BC Student Center lobby.

As a finale to the event, everyone sang “Let there be Peace on Earth.”