University of Vermont

Office of the President

Remembering September 11

President Daniel Mark Fogel's Remarks to Remember September 11

Over night the weather changes — we went to sleep under blue skies and almost tropical heat —
we woke today in another world, gray, chill, threatening.

One year ago, we were startled out of sleep, waking abruptly to a changed world, to a sky that
came down in flames, terror, and, for so many, sudden and unforeseen annihilation.

What murdered sleep that day also brought revelations whose meanings we are still turning
over in our minds and hearts, still absorbing, still questioning —

How sharply and deeply hurt we all were — how we were united in dismay — how closely
bound we were in grief, in empathy for those whose lives were abruptly shortened —

for those who perished on the instant, for those who faced death knowingly on the upper
stories, on the fateful flights, on missions of rescue climbing the doomed towers —

for all of those our fellow creatures — sisters, mothers, daughters, brothers, fathers, sons —
in whose remembrance we are gathered today, whose memories are cherished now

at countless gatherings, whose loss will be engraved forever in the memory of the nation and
the world — and for the living, too, who must go on, for the bereaved,

for each of us, turning over the stubborn meanings, seeking in what Adrienne Rich calls in an
old poem "the wreck and not the story of the wreck/the thing itself and not the myth"

something about ourselves on which we can rest and be restored — the connectedness we felt
that day, the ways in which we are bound together in remembrance and in hope,

our hope of a better world, one that is humane, equitable, safe, that holds fertile ground and
fair weather for the seeds that are within us of creativity, of joy, of liberty and justice for all.

— Daniel Mark Fogel

Last modified October 08 2008 08:38 AM