Voices of Simmons

From the President: Remembering September 11

Tomorrow marks the twentieth anniversary of the September 11 attacks. As I reflect on these events, I am aware of how members of our community relate to this date in profoundly different ways. Some have a deeply personal connection to 9/11 because of the trauma they experienced or grief over the loss of loved ones. Others recall the bravery and dedication of our first responders and military personnel. And for many of our students, 9/11 is first and foremost an event in history, one that they may have learned about in school.

While we all relate to 9/11 in different ways, the events of that day continue to influence our world in far-reaching ways. Over the past several weeks, many of us watched with despair as the tragic and difficult situation unfolded in Afghanistan. We grieved for the loss of our brave military personnel working to evacuate our Afghan allies, and for the tremendous suffering so many Afghan children and families have and continue to experience – even at this very moment. We have also seen the ongoing effects of 9/11 in our policy making, in the adverse health impacts on first responders who helped that day, and as an unfortunate excuse by some to further engage in anti-Muslim or anti-Semitic rhetoric.

The world needs everyday leadership now more than ever. Our communities need us to lead and to serve.

This evening and throughout the weekend, Simmons will light the Main College Building blue and display a memorial image on the digital screens across the Academic Campus to mark the anniversary. My thoughts are with all those whose lives were shaped or altered by this day, and I also reflect on what our own community can do individually and collectively moving forward.

I am proud to be part of the Simmons family: a group of committed learners, scholars, educators, and activists. As a community, it is our privilege and responsibility to acknowledge, examine, and most importantly, learn from 9/11 and its legacy. In our different roles, we can utilize our unique leadership strengths to help others and advance equity and social justice. Simmons plays a crucial role in educating and empowering our future healthcare workers, first responders, community leaders, and policymakers – the type of everyday leaders that responded on September 11 and its aftermath.

The world needs everyday leadership now more than ever. Our communities need us to lead and to serve. As we observe 9/11, I hope each of us will explore how we can contribute our talents, energy, and passions to the important work ahead.

Sincerely,
Lynn Wooten

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Voices of Simmons