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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    9/11 Fifth Annual Commencement

    Stony Brook’s fifth annual September 11 Memorial Commemoration was held on Friday, giving the Stony Brook community a chance to grieve for lost ones. The commencement was held on behalf of the Interfaith Center and the Office of the President, and took place at the 9-11 Alumni Arch.

    ‘It is our hope that this commemoration ceremony will provide our community with the opportunity to grieve, to mourn our losses, to reflect on the meaning of these events, and to support one another as a caring community of students, faculty, staff, and alumni,’ said Rabbi Joseph S. Topek, Director and Jewish Chaplain from the Hillel Foundation for Jewish Life. Topek introduced the various speakers throughout the convocation.

    First, the University Police color guards presented the colors by placing a flag on each side of the 9-11 Alumni Arch. The arch is built between the Humanities and the Psychology buildings in memory of the 23 Stony Brook alumni who lost their lives on that day.

    Following the posting of colors, Rachel Shutz from the Protestant Church Ministry sang the national anthem. Then a memorial flame was lit by students representing six different faiths: Noah Aronin from the Hillel Foundation, Homa Khwaja from the Muslim Students Association, Kaiyan Lin from Baptist Church Ministries, Mai Luong from Catholic Church Ministries, Tejas Gawade from the Hindu Student Association, and Shutz from PCM.

    Prayers were offered, starting with a prayer for lost loved ones by Topek. Sister Margaret Ann Landry from the Catholic Chaplain gave a prayer on behalf of the families of the victims. Ambassador Harsh Bhasin of the Hindu Community offered a prayer on behalf of rescue and recovery workers. Reverend Chen Chi from the Baptist Chaplain offered a prayer on behalf of world leaders. Sister Sanaa Nadim from the Muslim Student Association offered a prayer for world peace, and Reverend Cathy Schuyler from the Protestant Chaplain offered a prayer for the future of humanity.

    ‘For years now, you have been asking for solace and peace in their name and the name of all others who have died for peace that God brings the dawn of peace in our lives and that our children can see it in their future. Let us pray that peace is victorious against all odds,’ said Nadim in her prayer.

    Other speakers included the Chancellor of the State University of New York, Vice Admiral John R. Ryan, and President Shirley Strum Kenny.

    The names of Stony Brook alumni were read by Scott Abrams, President of Stony Brook Alumni Association. Following the list of alumni, the names of family members of Stony Brook faculty who lost their lives were read by Elena Yarritu, representative of the Graduate Student Organization; Romual Jean-Baptiste, President of Undergraduate Student Government; and Patrick Flores, representative of Health Science Center Student Government. Lastly, the Three Village Fire Department named the heroes who died while saving victims. A bell was tolled after naming each victim.

    Representative faculty and staff presented a memorial wreath, and a moment of silence was observed in memory of all the victims. The commemoration was then concluded with the singing of ‘God Bless America.’

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