Saturday, September 17, 2011

Local Colleges Mark 9/11 10.0

All three institutions of higher learning in Amherst marked the tenth anniversary of 9-11, each in its own way.

The University of Massachusetts observed four moments of silence. Students placed flags on lawns and attended a vigil and interfaith service. Amherst College held an early-morning memorial service (at the hour at which the attacks began) as well as an evening discussion on how the world had changed in the intervening decade.

Hampshire College, as might be expected, marched to a different drummer (figuratively speaking of course. I don't think we are allowed to march: sounds too militaristic. African or Afro-Caribbean drumming is okay, though, In fact, students organized a "salsa parade" as part of their protest against admissions and construction policies last year. But I digress.)

Unlike the other two institutions, it did not (to the best of my knowledge) hold any sort of memorial for the victims. Like Amherst College, however, it sought to make the anniversary an academic and learning experience.

As has by now become the custom here, there was a screening of a film, "The Other Sept. 11," a commemoration of the 1973 coup in Chile, for which many hold the US responsible.

In addition, the Office of Spiritual Life, the Cultural Center, and the Center for Feminisms offered: "Catastrophe: 9/11, Fear & the Selling of American Empire: a critical view of the Administration we elected after 9/11--conservative, reactionary, and dangerous,"

and a screening of

"Saint of 9/11," which "documents the journey of a queer Fire Dept Chaplain- his life, struggles and transformation."

The main event, though, was: "9/11 Plus 10: Islam the Middle East, and the Future of American Foreign Policy," a faculty panel featuring Professors Omar Dahi, Sayres Rudy, and Falguni Sheth, moderated by Professor Michael Klare (Peace and World Security Studies) and introduced by new President Jonathan Lash.

I wish I could have attended the panel, but it was Select Board night. Duty called.

One minor note on the commemorations: I noticed that the American flag at the center of campus was flying at half-staff. This had not been the case in previous years, as in this photo from 2008.

 In fact, this year, it was in the lowered position for at least three days, through September 13. Perhaps they were trying to make up for the past three years.

1 comment:

LarryK4 said...

Six weeks after the stunning attack on America an altruistic "God Bless America" ceremony at Amherst College was interrupted by protestors dressed in black who threw American flags on the ground and stomped on them while chanting "This flag does not represent us," and then set them ablaze.

The next day the resulting photo appeared on the front page of the Boston Globe. The leader of the group wished to remain anonymous, but admitted being a Hampshire College professor.