President Iuliano reflects on 9/11 and encourages the campus community to participate in a moment of silence on September 11, 2021 at 9:00 a.m.
Dear Members of the Gettysburg College Community,
Tomorrow, we pause to reflect on a day that forever changed our world: September 11, 2001. It is a day engrained in our national consciousness, one which—20 years later—continues to remind us of the fragility of life and the strength that comes with dedicating our lives to one another.
Whether you witnessed the attacks in real time or have come to understand 9/11 through your studies, I hope that you, like me, find inspiration in the stories of personal sacrifice, courage, and compassion that so stirringly reclaimed and redefined the events of that fateful morning—ascribing a sense of hope and meaning amid the fear and uncertainty.
On this anniversary weekend, may we remember all those who stepped forward in extraordinary ways for the greater good: first responders who peered into the smoke and flames and chose to run toward danger, rather than away from it, for strangers in need; passengers who stormed the cockpit door of Flight 93 and sacrificed themselves to save others; and heroes like alumnus John Schmittle ’01, who was in a fire stairwell within the South Tower of the World Trade Center when the second plane hit—and though John continues to bear the immense weight of his firsthand account, he chooses to share his story of survival for the benefit of future generations.
As Gettysburgians, we lost three of our own in the 9/11 terrorist attacks—Tim Betterly ’81, P’12, P’15; Joe Hasson ’89; and Doug DiStefano ’99—and many other members of this College community suffered immeasurable losses, including that of family, friends, and loved ones. Please join me for a moment of silence at 9 a.m. tomorrow at the Peace Pole, as we remember the lives of all 9/11 victims and the sacrifices made by countless others.