The wind was eerily strong on Wednesday, September 11, 2002. Perhaps it was meant to dry the tears of those still in mourning.
Fallen leaves swirled around the spectators that gathered before the Bell Tower to hear the names of the victims of September 11th being read.
It was a day of tolerance and remembrance for Temple students and for people across the nation. The crowd outside of Paley Library consisted of people of all ages, religions, genders, and races.
Some were dressed in red, white and blue; many had a somber look upon their faces.
The size of the generally large crowd fluctuated between classes.
People were encouraged to take a name of a victim to pray for or simply acknowledge.
Several canvases were placed around the stage for students and faculty alike to express their feelings and to write dedications to friends and family.
The canvases were covered in peaceful messages and words of inspiration:
“An eye for an eye will make the whole world go blind,”,”May God Bless America,” and “We will never forget,” were just a few words embossed on the tribute.
As the afternoon’s service drew to a close, representatives of the Muslim Students Association passed out carnations that had a tag with a message that said, “God is gentle and loves gentleness in all things.
Saving the life of one person is saving all of mankind.”
Many students spent their day in the classroom, choosing to move on with their daily activities rather than dwell on their sorrow. Some were met with classroom discussions on the topic of today’s events.
Several classes served as forums for people to speak their minds and hearts.
Students were able to talk about their personal experiences and tell their “Where were you when the first plane hit?” stories; while other classes were entwined in serious debates about the logistical details of the attacks.
Still, there were professors that chose not to acknowledge today’s significance within the walls of their classrooms.
Students were expected to focus on their studies without a mention of their fears and emotions.
Not all students felt at ease going to class on a day with such magnitude as today.
Many students stayed within the confines of their rooms, glued to their television sets watching, on nearly every channel, the ceremonies and memorials that were taking place throughout the country and especially at Ground Zero, the Pentagon, and Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
It was all too similar to their activities on the same day a year ago when the news was delivering constant updates on the attacks.
Things were uncertain then; many students still feel that uncertainty still today.
Religion has aided some in their struggle to cope with depression or anxiety about the attacks or loss of a loved one.
Many students on campus turned to their faith both today and twelve months ago.
The Christian, Jewish, and Muslim communities on campus are showing a great expression of unity and strength in their faith.
Tuttleman Counseling Services reported that they have not had many people come for help in coping today.
This could be a good indication that people are finding other healthy ways to deal with their feelings; it also could mean that they just don’t know where to go.
If you are having trouble getting through this difficult time and you would like someone to talk to Tuttleman Counseling Services can provide you with individual or group sessions.
To make an appointment call 215-204-7276.
Milli Protheroe can be reached at Bobhope@temple.edu