Last week, Sacred Heart University held several events to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. Faculty and staff members from numerous departments participated in ten events held on campus and in the new Sacred Heart Community Theatre.
Sacred Heart commemorates 9/11 every year, but wanted to do more for the 20th anniversary.
“We at SHU have organized a much more comprehensive and truly outstanding series of events to commemorate this 20th anniversary,” said Prof. Michelle Loris.
Other than the 20th anniversary, there is something special about this year for Sacred Heart.
“We realized that most of the students weren’t even born yet and had no real understanding of the experience,” said Prof. Richard Falco. “Everything was just pictures, so we felt this was the time to do it.”
“Unlike my parents and some of my cousins, this wasn’t something I experienced first hand,” said sophomore Grace Hand.
Some of these events included colloquiums, movie screenings, musical performances and a candlelight vigil.
The “Power of the Image” colloquia was held on Wednesday, Sept. 8 and was hosted by Falco, who is a former photojournalist for TIME Magazine. Falco presented the photographs he took at Ground Zero in the days following the attack.
“I feel like part of my work as a photojournalist and now as a teacher is to pass on this information and my experiences,” said Falco.
Falco took this time to share the stories behind every photograph and his personal experience of being there.
“Just from a second-hand experience of this, I can feel how life-changing it was even though I wasn’t there,” said Hand after attending Falco’s presentation.
Later Wednesday night, an interfaith memorial and candlelight vigil took place at the university chapel.
“It was a beautiful service and I truly appreciated the interfaith nature of the service,” said Rabbi Josh Ratner, Sacred Heart’s interfaith chaplain. “9/11 impacted so many people of different religious backgrounds.”
Students gathered to remember the attacks of Sept. 11 together, as a community.
“It was a beautiful service,” said senior Brooke Ziccardi. “It really felt like everyone there was united.”
On Saturday, Sept. 11, there was a live musical tribute, a film screening of Boatlift and a panel discussion held at the Community Theatre.
“Our aim is to enlighten and engage our students and our local community in respecting, remembering and reflecting,” said Loris, who hosted the panel discussion with Falco and Hadar Lubin, a psychiatrist and associate clinical professor at Yale University.
Sacred Heart will continue to commemorate 9/11 with a new Art and Design gallery that opened on Tuesday, Sept. 14 outside the Edgerton Theatre. The gallery, designed by Prof. Jon Walker under the direction of Art and Design Chair and Gallery Director Mary Treschita, will display Falco’s photography from Ground Zero.
“It’s not going to just be pictures on the wall, it’s going to be a multimedia experience,” said Falco.
The show will run through Dec. 11.