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Elon marks 9/11 anniversary with prayers, flag display

The campus community found a variey of ways to commemorate the 16th anniversary of the attacks in New York and Washington, D.C. that killed thousands. 

Hundreds of flags placed around Young Commons fluttered in the strong breezes throughout the day on Monday as the Elon campus community commemorated the 16th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C.

Hundreds of flags were placed around Young Commons to commemorate 9/11.

The flags placed around the heart of Elon's campus also signified the support the Elon community offered to the 9/11 Memorial Fund, with the Student Government Association heading a fundraiser through which students, faculty and staff could sponsor a flag for a minimum contribution of $1. In its third year, the fundraiser has generated hundreds of dollars to support the memorial, which sits in the footprint of the World Trade Center's twin towers that were brought down in the 2001 attack. 

Members of the Elon community gathered in the Sacred Space in the Numen Lumen Pavilion to share prayers and poems to mark the 16th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Here Meir Goldstein, associate chaplain for Jewish life, offers his thoughts. 

Three times during the day, the carillon atop Alamance Building rang to mark the time of each attack — two on the World Trade Center towers and one on the Pentagon — to honor the thousands who perished on 9/11. 

At midday, members of the Elon community gathered in the Sacred Space in the Numen Lumen Pavilion to lift up prayers to those who died and their families. 

"This prayer is particularly important today as it calls us not to be brought down by anger," said Shane Atkinson, Muslim life coordinator with the Truitt Center for Spiritual and Religious Life, before reading a prayer about seeking refuge and protection from the evil in the world. 

Those gathered heard a reading of "Please Call Me by My True Names," a poem by the Buddhist monk and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh that asks, "Please call me by my true names, so I can wake up and the door of my heart could be left open, the door of compassion."

Joel Harter, associate chaplain for Protestant life, shared a prayer that had been handed out by Mychal Judge, a chaplain with the New York City Fire Department who was killed on 9/11. "Lord, take me where you want me to go. Let me meet who you want me to meet," the prayer reads. "Tell me what you want me to say, and keep me out of your way."

Owen Covington,
9/11/2017 3:30 PM