While Temple students in Philadelphia gathered at the Bell Tower to commemorate the President’s National Day of Remembrance and Mourning on Friday, Sept. 21, students at Main Campus’ sister satellite held a memorial ceremony of their own.
Almost 7,000 miles away, students at Temple University Japan (TUJ) walked from the Tokyo campus to the U.S. Embassy to express their sympathies for the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
They walked quietly down a busy street in Central Tokyo with chrysanthemums in their hands. Chrysanthemums are a flower traditionally placed on graves in Japan.
I thought we had to do something. It’s kind of our duty as students at an American university,” said Jeremy Baker, student government representative and organizer of the walk.
Temple Japan has hundreds of students enrolled in classes. While the students hail from different areas of the world, many are native Japanese. This year, 20 students are from the United States and nine are from Main Campus.
“I took part in the walk because I felt at least I can do something though I’m out of my country,” said Amy Tiller, an exchange student from Main Campus. “It’s hard to cope with being abroad right now.”
U.S. Cultural Affairs Attache Robin Barrington greeted the students who came to lay flowers at the front gate of the embassy. She also thanked the students for coming in spite of the bad weather.
“It’s a difficult time for us,” said Barrington. “Someone said that crying makes you stronger. We have become much stronger over the last several days.”
After placing the flowers, the students lit memorial candles and sang the hymn, “Amazing Grace.” They observed a moment of silence and signed condolence books to conclude the event.
“The [terrorist] acts are unforgivable. We are human beings . Nobody should end life like this,” said TUJ instructor Nagwa Khalil with tears in her eyes.
“I’m glad I joined the event today. I have seen America students feeling torn since the incident. I wanted to share in the feeling and wanted them to know that Japanese people care about what happened,” said TUJ student Saeko Komura.