Members of the UR community participated in moments of silence in remembrance of September 11. Informational presentations and a prayer service marked the second anniversary of the World Trade Center, Pentagon and Pennsylvania attacks.
At 8 a.m., residents of the Residential and Fraternity Quads were awakened by the Navy and Marine Corps Reserve Officer Training Battalion. The battalion stood in formation on the Fraternity Quad for a minute of silence in honor of those who died in the attacks.
The front steps of Wilson Commons were busy from 1 – 3 p.m. with various activities. The Rochester Scottish Pipe Band opened the ceremony. Rev. Robert Winterkorn of the Rochester Fire Department gave an inspiring speech. Members of the RFD and Rochester Police Department were also present during the observance.
The Interfaith Chapel was also busy throughout the day. The chapel’s sanctuary was open from 8:30 a.m. until 10 p.m. for visitors to bring their prayers, written remembrances and flowers.
The Interfaith Chapel also held a “Service of Prayer for Peace,” sponsored by the Religious Roundtable. The annual service was held at 5 p.m. in the sanctuary for all members of the UR community.
The service began with welcomes from the Catholic Chaplain Father Brian Cool, Dean of Students Jody Asbury, Dean of The College William Green and Protestant Chaplain Rev. Greg Osterberg.
After the opening remarks, members of the Religious Roundtable led a series of prayers in the Bahai, Catholic, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Jewish, Muslim, Protestant and Sikh faiths. After his or her prayer, each student lit a candle.
“This year’s service was more student-led compared to last year,” Administrative Assistant of the Chapel Gloria Colls said. “The chaplains planned more last year. This year, the focus was on the students.”
After the candle-lighting ceremony, Protestant Chaplain Rev. Greg Parris led a moment of silence. At the end of the service, the small gathering of about 100 students, faculty and staff were then invited to write any prayers of their own and attach them to the Chapel Peace Pole.
The day’s events were well received by all who attended. Event planners were satisfied with the turnout, although several students who wanted to attend Thursday’s events were unable to because of conflicts in their schedules.
“When I saw the flier, I thought the times were weird. Timing is not always good for these kind of events,” senior Dave Iseminger said.
“My brother has been in Iraq since March and I wanted to attend the service, but I had a class I couldn’t miss,” freshman Andrea Benvenuto said. Benvenuto attended the 8 a.m. observance, but kept the day’s significance in her mind throughout the day.
A similar service was offered on the one-year anniversary.
Colls spoke on the topic of time choice, “Last year, we heard complaints from faculty who could not attend an 8 p.m. service due to conflicts. Our decision to move to an earlier time was to try to include the entire UR community.”
“There will definitely be a service next year, and it will probably go back to a later time next year.”