Thoughts & Prayers: September 11, 2021 – A National Day of Remembrance

TO: The Gonzaga Community
FROM: Thayne M. McCulloh, D.Phil., President
SUBJ: Thoughts & Prayers: September 11, 2021 – A National Day of Remembrance
DATE: September 10, 2021

Twenty years ago tomorrow – when the unthinkable occurred and hijacked planes were flown into each of the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and (due to the heroism of passengers who thwarted those flying the airplane) the earth of rural Pennsylvania – our nation and world were forever changed. Twenty years on, as we reflect on the events of September 11, 2001, our thoughts and prayers are with the many victims, their friends and families, and everyone impacted by the trauma of that day and the months and years thereafter.

Some of us remember the events of that morning as vividly as if it happened yesterday. Others may be too young to have memory of these events; but in one way or another, we all have been affected by these multiple acts of coordinated terrorism.

For those passengers and crew aboard American Airlines Flight 11 (Boston to Los Angeles), United Airlines Flight 175 (Boston to Los Angeles), American Airlines Flight 77 (Washington, D.C. to Los Angeles), and United Airlines Flight 93 (Newark to San Francisco) and their loved ones – we remember them and our hearts go out to their families and loved ones.

With reverence for the 2,977 innocent souls whose lives were lost and the more than 6,000 injured that day, we remember and pray for them all, as well as those who experienced the horror – understood in halting, unimaginable steps – that so few survived the attacks in New York. Here in Spokane and around the globe, so many experienced grief, pain and a profound sense of loss as the world, our nation, and the Gonzaga University campus forever changed that day.

September 11th for the United States is a National Day of Remembrance.

This is an occasion to remember, give thanks, and pray for our nation’s first responders. So many brave individuals lost their lives, working to save the entrapped; so many lives were saved due to their heroic efforts. For twenty years, many of the first responders involved have suffered with long-term physical and mental health fallout. For those still surviving as well as those who have since passed, we pray for them. We give thanks for the many dedicated women and men who serve our communities every day, working to carry forward the legacy of commitment to protect, serve, and heal humanity.

The events of September 11th were the catalyst for military operations that sought to root out terrorist groups in multiple countries across multiple decades. Our prayers are with the members of the military, who have served and sacrificed so much during the two decades of war following the attacks. We remember those lost with great love and appreciation for their bravery and dedication. We remember too those peoples of the war-torn Middle East – nations such as Kuwait, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Iran – who have worked side-by-side with those who seek peace and deeply desire a society dominated by equality, justice, and the rule of law.

Let us take this moment to remember all those who have been affected by the events of September 11th, 2001. To the families and friends of those who have died and served, please know that the Gonzaga community is thinking of you and praying for you now.

“Be gracious to me, O God, be gracious to me, For my soul takes refuge in You;
And in the shadow of Your wings I will take refuge Until destruction passes by. –Psalm 57:1