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WPI Remembers the Sept. 11 Attacks



Top, WPI gardener Robert Tupper listens to remarks during WPI's Sept. 11 observance. Bottom, Campus Police Sergeant H. Jurgen Ring was part of a procession that crossed Earle Bridge and raised the American flag on Beech Tree Circle.

WPI observed the first anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks much the way it coped with the horrific events a year earlier--by gathering as a community to remember the victims and share personal thoughts and memories.

In a morning ceremony of remembrance held by the flagpole near Alden Memorial, students, faculty, staff and alumni gathered to recall "a sad but meaningful day," in the words of Rev. Peter J. Scanlon, director of WPI's Collegiate Religious Center. Father Scanlon called upon those gathered to think about the many who died on Sept. 11, including Leonard Taylor '79 of Reston, Va., who was aboard American Airlines Flight 77, which was crashed into the Pentagon.

To the plaintive strains of "Amazing Grace" (played by a bagpiper and a drummer), a military color guard, a Worcester firefighter and a WPI police officer crossed Earle Bridge and raised the American flag to half mast. Then in a brief but powerful address, WPI President Edward Alton Parrish looked back on how the events of Sept. 11 had touched him and the WPI community. "I will remember," he concluded, "not to take freedom for granted."

The community gathered again at noon in Harrington Auditorium to hear reflections and prayers from students, including represen-tatives of the Muslim Student Association, the International Student Association, the Indian Student Association and the Newman Club, and a keynote address by Lt. Col. Richard B. O'Connor, head of WPI's Military Science Department. Stationed at the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001, O'Connor was away from his office, which was in the path of the jetliner, when the attack occured.

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