September 11 Remembrance

Friday, September 11, 2020

Friends: Peace on earth is possible.

That possibility seems more distant than in former times. We see the purposeful division of people daily—the racial divides in the US loom large and reverberate from the broadest global challenges to the most local interactions, even here at Vassar. And we sit in the middle of a pandemic that is wreaking havoc of global and local proportions—on our physical bodies, on our mental health, on our economy, on all front-line workers, and on our loved ones.

We gather this morning with people across the world, to insist on this simple truth: peace is possible. And in doing so, we continue the work of so many who have walked this path before us: people whose names we know, and many, more whose names we do not know.

To work for peace is to work amidst the stark reality of brokenness with a, nonetheless, clear vision of the world made whole.

So, we gather in peace. We gather in the name of all those who have gone down this road before us. We gather in the name of all those whom the violence surrounding 9/11 has taken from us—including all in our own community who have lost a loved one.

We gather to remember not only what we’ve lost – and who, and how – we gather to remember what we hope for, why we live, that we love.

Let us begin, anew, this peace-making work.

—Elizabeth H. Bradley, President, Vassar College