September 9, 2011
Dear ODU Campus Community,
On Sunday, we will join with the entire country in marking the 10th anniversary of the horrific and pivotal events of September 11, 2001.
Like the Pearl Harbor generation before us, we will always remember where we were and what we were doing when the terrible news broke that morning that an airplane had hit the World Trade Center. And it will forever leave an indelible mark of profound loss on our hearts.
The tragedy changed the American landscape in so many ways and altered the course of the last decade. But I believe that its legacy should be one of inspiration, from the selfless and heroic acts of first responders; commitment, from the thousands of military personnel who volunteered to serve our country in the aftermath; and, most importantly, love, for the friends and families who never got the chance to say one last goodbye.
As we remember the tragic loss of nearly 3,000 lives, let's be especially mindful of former Old Dominion University students Craig Amundson, Robert Elseth and Lt. Col. Karen Wagner, and the relatives of former ODU students Shaun Mason, Tamatha Patterson, Jennifer Strauss and Jonathan Saporta, who lost their lives in the Pentagon and World Trade Center attacks.
I ask each of you to memorialize the victims of 9/11 with a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m., the time the first plane struck the World Trade Center that day. Additionally, I ask you to support the ODU Center for Service and Civic Engagement's 9.11 Memorial 5K, which will begin with an 8 a.m. ceremony on Kaufman Mall. All proceeds will go to the Virginia Wounded Warrior program.
In our thoughts and in our actions, we have the opportunity to keep alive the memory of the 9/11 victims. Reach out to a neighbor who may need help. Volunteer to make your community a better place. Remember to tell friends and family that you love them. Never miss an opportunity to help create a future filled with hope and peace.
John R. Broderick