Kenneth A. Shaw, Chancellor

Sandi Tams Mulconry '75
Associate Vice President for
University Communications; Publisher

Jeffrey Charboneau G'99
Institutional/Administrative Publications;
Managing Editor

Jay Cox

Laurie Cronin ’81

Christine Yackel G’75

Margaret Costello

David Marc

W. Michael McGrath, Amy McVey

W. Michael McGrath

Jennifer Merante

Nia Davis G’02

Riyad Aboutaha, Keith Alford,
Doug Allen ’85, William Banks,
Mehrzad Boroujerdi,
William Brodsky ’65, G’68,
Yvonne Buchanan, Frank Cammuso ’87, Horace Campbell,Theodore Ceraldi,
Shiu-Kai Chin ’75, G’78, G’86,
Joan Deppa, Fernando Diz,
Dug Gillies ’68, Burt Harbison,
Pamela Kirwin Heintz ’91, Melvyn Levitsky, Elizabeth Liddy G’77, G’88,
Doug MacGregor ’79, Ivan Markov,
Julie Lefkowitz Mendik ’89,
Bob Monetti, Jim Morin ’75, Brian Mullen, Amber Nizami G’03, Grant Reeher,
Todd Solan ’90, Linda Stone Fish,
Laurence Thomas, John Trever ’65,
Kristin Walker-Bidwell ’90, Rev.
Thomas V. Wolfe, Lou Yannaco ’67

Syracuse University Magazine
(USPS 009-049, ISSN 1065-884X)
Volume 18, Number 4, is an official
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With Indomitable Spirit


One evening, while lost in thoughts of this dark hour in America, I walked out into my backyard. In my mind I was haunted by the image of a young child waiting at the door for a father who would never come home. I couldn’t escape it. Again and again it appeared, mixing and mingling with other horrid images that entered my psyche on September 11, 2001, and the ensuing days.
      This assault was interrupted by a robin chirping as it sailed across the yard and landed in a maple tree. Following its path led my eyes to the nearby meadow, cloaked in the brilliant colors of purple asters and goldenrod. In the distance, I heard cars passing, motorcycles shifting gears, music, and children playing. From where I stood, I looked across the hills as the sun slowly faded behind the horizon. All of a sudden I felt an overwhelming sense of relief. Finally, a break from all the grief, sadness, anger, and confusion. And yet, at that instant, I also knew this was just a guarded moment of respite from the reality of the hatred and hostility now confronting Americans.
      There is so much I don’t understand about the terrorist attacks. Like many of you, I wonder how these people became such hate-mongering extremists, bargaining their entire existence on a ruthless desire to extinguish us. And it’s an incredibly unsettling thought to realize that they are not alone in their maniacal tirade against the civilized world.
      They may have accomplished their ambition of wreaking havoc on American soil, but what they failed to consider is the resiliency of the human spirit. We, after all, are blessed with an indomitable ability to overcome adversity and bounce back even stronger. We possess the remarkable gift of giving ourselves to others any way we can, even in the most trying times. This was what I found most heartening following the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks. People reached out. They united. They offered support, prayers, and their own energy and muscle.
      Here on the Hill, members of the campus community gathered in prayer and for candlelight vigils, gave blood, donated goods to the rescue effort, held teach-ins and forums, exchanged ideas, gave out white ribbons to commemorate the victims, and offered counseling and support. Like everyone else, we tried to make sense of this senseless act.
      The day after the attack, I found myself on the Quad, watching students put words and art on “Sheets of Expression.” These long white sheets—provided by the Student Association as a therapeutic way for students to air their thoughts about this incomprehensible tragedy—were stretched across the grass. Beneath an amazing blue sky, the students worked in quiet unison. For me, it was surreal—standing there on a beautiful afternoon, yet knowing that people in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania, and the victims’ families and friends, were snarled in a living hell.
      In this issue we attempt to understand September 11. We offer a tribute to the alumni, family, and friends lost in the waning days of summer. We share experts’ thoughts and perspectives on the incident and its impact, and the stories of survivors and rescue workers.
      What we often forget—but this tragedy so strongly reinforces—is that heroes walk among us. They give us hope and inspiration. We should be thankful and keep in mind what was written on those sheets: “There is an infinite amount of love and support that will bring us together to overcome this devastation,” one message reads. “Live now,” reads another, “for those who cannot.”


Jay Cox

Main Home Page Contents Chancellor's Message Opening Remarks
Reflections In Memoriam Time of Terror Lessons of Hope
Future Impact Voices