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Friday, September 11, 2009


September 11, 2001 began as a beautiful Tuesday morning in north Georgia. It ended as one of the most tragic days in our nation's history.

The terrorist attacks of September 11 shocked the Emory campus (and, of course, the world) in a way few could remember and many would never forget. As the day wore on and the horrific images of the attacks were burned into people's minds, Emory's leadership--students and administrators--took immediate action. Classes were canceled and all academic operations suspended. Even as emotions--shock, anger, helplessness, vengeance--mutated by the minute, the healing began.

The night following the attacks, more than 2,000 students, staff, and faculty gathered on the Quadrangle for a candlelight vigil (captured above for Emory Report by Ann Borden, executive director for University Photography).

Anna Manasco Dionne 02C, then-president of Student Government Association (SGA), led the ceremony: "We gather to think about the unthinkable, to attempt to explain the inexplicable, and to mourn what seems like the unbearable," she said, mere days after stepping into the Emory's most prominent student office.

"Strengthened by each other, refreshed by our togetherness, we gather here tonight to do our little to expunge intolerance, divisiveness, and hatred from the human race and the world. We gather here tonight to reflect on the lives of the innocent, the efforts of the rescuers, the pain of the affected, and the shock to the country," she said.

The terrorist attacks of September 11 provoked many reactions in the Emory community. One was that it brought this remarkably diverse collection of people together in a way rarely seen before or since. On September 12, 2001, from Candler Library to the Admin Building, the Quadrangle was packed, shoulder-to-shoulder, with people who just needed comfort. For that one night, at least, they found it.

To read more about reactions of the Emory community in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks, please read the September 17, 2001 issue of Emory Report. The September 24 issue covered President Jimmy Carter annual town hall, which took place just two days after the attacks, as well as a September 19 forum that aimed to put the attacks into some sort of perspective.

-- Eric Rangus, director of communications, EAA

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