FAU remembers Sept. 11

Kelly Tyko

Flowers with notes of reflection and expression tied to the stems. The planting of a new tree. Dedication of new flags, the retiring of an old one. Time for quiet reflection and for heated debates. Two art gallery exhibits.

These are some of the ways FAU is remembering the first anniversary of Sept. 11. These are some of the ways that the events planners hope to bring the FAU community together. (A complete listing of all the Sept. 11 events may be found below.)

Event coordinator Jenny Patterson says bringing the community together is what it’s all about. “My whole goal is to just bring people together. We need to get understanding from one another. We think we know each other but we really don’t,” says Patterson, who is also Student Government’s director of cultural awareness.

Student Body President Pablo Paez says that it’s SG’s main reason for getting involved; that and giving students an opportunity to reflect. Ancel Pratt, SG’s vice president, agrees, adding, “SG is doing our very best to be cautious. It’s a very sensitive topic for a lot of people. We want to promote the knowledge of other cultures more.”

Patterson, herself, is annoyed with people judging others by their skin color and accents. “We really need to stop being ignorant. That’s the college experience – it’s about getting to know each other,” she says.

And it’s not just about students getting to know each other, Paez said. “It’s about the community coming together; students, faculty, alumni, and administration. I think it is important that we remember and commemorate the event that changed our country and that brought us together,” Paez says.

And for Pratt, he wants part of Sept. 11 to be uplifting. “In a lot of ways, the one-year anniversary needs to be uplifting the brotherly love of America. It should focus on the essence of being kind and the altruistic nature of brother and sister. If we don’t continue to embrace brotherly love, then I don’t feel that we’re any better than any other terrorist,” Pratt says.

BOCA RATON

In memory of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C., the Boca Raton campus of Florida Atlantic University will host numerous public events Sept. 9 through 11.

The events will lead up to the official opening of the highly acclaimed “here is new york: a democracy of photographs” exhibition in FAU’s Ritter Art Gallery.

On Monday, Sept. 9, a student reflection symposium will take place in the bookstore courtyard adjacent to the campus breezeway. The gathering, which begins at noon, will provide students with the opportunity to discuss how the Sept.11 attacks have impacted global society.

On Tuesday, Sept. 10, a panel of FAU professors and local experts will gather to present their academic perspectives and explore various issues concerning Sept. 11 and its aftermath. The event will take place in room 250 of the Social Science building at 4 p.m.

On Wednesday, Sept. 11, the campus will host A Day of Remembrance: Tree of Life Dedication and Community Ceremony. The program will take place in Alumni Plaza and begin at noon with a welcome from Interim President Richard Osburn. Musical performances will be provided by the FAU Wind Ensemble and Chamber Singers. Additional speakers will include Boca Raton Mayor Steven Abrams, and Student Body President Pablo Paez.

The tree will signify a future filled with promise. Members of the audience will be invited to write symbolic messages, which will then be hung on the tree branches.

Rod Faulds, the director of the University Galleries, says, “The magnitude of this world event has influenced people in different departments to come together because of the significance.”

Immediately following the ceremony, the community is invited to the opening of the “here is new york: a democracy of photographs” exhibit at the Ritter Art Gallery. This unique photography exhibition responds to the World Trade Center tragedy and the flood of photographic images arising from it. The Gallery will present a selection of 190 powerful and poignant photographs directly related to the events of Sept. 11.

The exhibit, which runs at FAU through Nov. 9, is organized by Here is New York (www.hereisnewyork.org) and has been donated by Mr. and Mrs. John Whitney Payson.

The Paysons are extending their patronage to FAU by contributing 150 of the “here is new york” photographs to FAU’s S.E. Wimberly Library upon the close of the exhibition.

The selection of photographs featured in the Ritter Art Gallery is a cross-section of those shown in New York at a storefront in SoHo since late September of 2001. Visitors will get an in-depth view of the acute effect of terrorism on this vibrant city and its people. The broadest possible cross-section of photographers (amateurs, emergency personnel and professional photojournalists) contributed the photographs.

Faulds says the exhibit is “a tremendous opportunity.”

BROWARD

FAU’s Davie campus will hold a tribute and flag dedication on Sept. 11 at 10 a.m. in the Student Activities Center. Student Government leaders will dedicate three newly donated flags and flagpoles in a ceremony that includes students, faculty and staff from Broward Community College. A tribute to the victims and heroes of September 11 will follow.

The downtown Fort Lauderdale campus will host the Room of Reflections and Flag Ceremony. Throughout the day, FAU and Broward Community College students, faculty, staff and the surrounding community will be given an opportunity to visit the Room of Reflections for quiet contemplation and personal prayer. This room, which adheres to the principles of feng shui, has been designated as a welcoming space for those who wish to share their thoughts and express their feelings on paper. At 5 p.m., a ceremony will be held to retire the flag that has flown continuously since September 11 of last year. For more information, call 954/762-5695.

NORTHERN

On the Treasure Coast campus in Port St. Lucie, a tribute and flag dedication will be held at 3:30 p.m. In collaboration with Indian River Community College, FAU will dedicate three new flags and flagpoles as well as a bronze plaque. The event will include student speakers and police color guard.

A ceremony is also being planned on the John D. MacArthur Campus in Jupiter on Sept. 11. “5000 Flowers: A Commemoration of September 11” will take place at the circle between the Hibel Museum and Fine Arts Buildings. Students, faculty, staff and members of the Abacoa/Jupiter community will honor victims of September 11 with flowers. A related exhibit at the Hibel Museum titled “Freedom Flowers,” will display the works of 15 artists. For more information, call 561/799-8531.