Dear Drew community,
Tomorrow’s 20th anniversary of the tragic events of September 11, 2001, serves as a somber reminder of heroism, terror, unity, and change.
Twenty years have passed in a blink, just as the day feels a lifetime ago. Memories from 9/11 are fresh in so many of our minds, and yet many members of our student body hadn’t even been born.
Let us join together to reflect on a day that shook a nation.
Let us mourn the innocent lives lost in New York City, Arlington, VA, and Shanksville, PA.
Let us reflect on the fragility of life, and commit to making the most of our own.
Let us stand in awe of the first responders who answered the call and ran directly into chaos and danger.
Let us consider what it means to be an actual patriot.
Let us spread kindness and understanding as we think of the families and friends whose lives were forever altered.
When we collect our thoughts on this day, it is important to consider the impact 9/11 had and continues to have on American immigrants. Drew is proud of its tie to the Afghan community, having helped Afghan women gain access to educational resources since 2010, and having proudly trumpeted the incredible work Drew students have done for their native country. Particularly in the wake of recent events, we must continue to celebrate the unique cultures that immigrants from all countries, including Afghanistan, add to our own. Let us stand with open arms, minds, and hearts as we welcome immigrants and refugees into our great country as they seek safety, understanding, and opportunity.
As a nation, we pledged to never forget 9/11. Please join me in finding a moment throughout the day tomorrow—when talking with loved ones or poring over memories, passing an American flag or alone in your thoughts—to remember and honor those we lost and those who rose to adversity.
Thomas J. Schwarz