The crowd’s patriotism never wavered throughout the 90-minute program, as speakers of all creeds and ethnicities shared prayers and words of comfort. Native American performer Joanne Shenandoah, a 2000 Grammy nominee, sang “Wipe Away Your Tears,” and several Community choirs also performed. As night fell across the square, a flame passed from neighbor to neighbor, uniting the crowd with the glow of candles and a sense of shared responsibility to keep the fires burning.
“It was an amazing display of how Americans come together in a time of crisis.”
    The nation saw the patriotic spirit of the SU campus when ESPN televised the Orangemen’s football game against the Auburn Tigers, the first public appearance for the teams following the attacks. Before the game, Otto the Orange and the SU cheerleading squad placed American flags on each of the 50,000 seats in the Carrier Dome. Spectators waved their flags during a special pregame show featuring the Pride of the Orange Marching Band. The musicians performed “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “God Bless America” as they moved into formations that created the letters USA and an outline of New York State. The pregame show also featured an appearance by New York Governor George Pataki, who spoke to the crowd of more than 43,000. Meanwhile, about 150 SU student athletes collected nearly $10,000 in donations from fans for the University’s annual Dollar Day at the Dome. A few blocks away, sorority sisters from Delta Delta Delta washed cars, earning more than $1,000 for the American Red Cross.


      In addition to raising money, the University was quick to respond in other ways to the needs of victims and rescue workers. When emergency management officials at the New York City disaster site said the rescue crews needed clothes, the campus community donated enough T-shirts and socks in 24 hours to fill a 16-foot truck. A tractor-trailer transported the clothing to rescue workers in New York City, who had to change their clothes hourly. Many donors wrote inspirational messages on the clothes. Students, faculty, and staff also gave more than 1,500 toiletry items that were sent to crews in New York City and Washington, D.C., whose members included alumni, Army ROTC cadets, and SU staff.
      Back on campus, a blood drive already scheduled at the Maxwell School extended its hours to accommodate an unexpected 3,000 people, some of whom had to be redirected to other drives. The Army ROTC also sponsored a blood drive in the Schine Student Center, and again the response was tremendous. “We had to make signs at the start of the day telling people we had reached maximum capacity,” says Army ROTC cadet Gregory Goodwin ’02, a student blood drive organizer. Between the two campus drives, the American Red Cross collected 174 pints of blood, in addition to building up its donor lists for future drives. “It was an amazing display of how Americans come together in a time of crisis,” Goodwin says. “We were glad to do our part.”

Steve Sartori

Students light candles during a vigil outside Hendricks Chapel.

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