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EMU Plans 9/11 Tenth Anniversary Commemoration

Prayers of safety during the send-off of the Guatemala Cross-Cul

HARRISONBURG, Va. – The Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) community will pause and reflect this week, along with the rest of the world, on the tenth anniversary of September 11, 2001.

Sept. 11 brought devastating loss to thousands of people in New York City, Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C. and around the world. It changed our worldview from “before 9/11” to “after 9/11.”

“As a community of learning committed to walking boldly in the way of nonviolence and peace, EMU’s thoughts on this anniversary turn towards peace and the ongoing hope that people of varied faiths and traditions can unite around common values and aspirations,” said Fred Kniss, PhD, provost of EMU. “From our various disciplinary and faith perspectives, we want to explore the important and complex questions that the events of 9/11 and afterwards pose for our global well-being.”

What have we learned? How have we changed? EMU is offering resources and events to provide a perspective on those questions.

“We hope they will help our students and community to gain a richer understanding of the challenges that face us today,” said Kniss.


Planned events provide opportunity for corporate and individual lament, prayer and processing as a local and campus community.

Saturday, Sept. 10, 7 p.m., interfaith gathering, “Turning toward Peace,” Court Square, downtown Harrisonburg, co-sponsored by EMU’s Center for Interfaith Engagement and others.

The time will include reflections, poetry, singing, inspiration and artistic expression for peace.  This gathering welcomesChristians, Muslims, Jews, persons in faith or no faith traditions, students and families. The event is open to persons of all ages.

Sunday, Sept. 11, 1 p.m., National Moment of Remembrance. EMU will toll the bells at Lehman Auditorium for one minute.

Sunday, Sept. 11, 7 p.m., outdoor gathering for reflection, singing, prayer and thoughts on turning toward hope for reconciliation and peace in our world.  Sponsored by EMU Campus Ministries. Located on the hill behind the EMU Campus Center.

Sunday, Sept. 11, 8 p.m., faculty and staff forum on how their work has been shaped and changed by the events of Sept. 11. Panelists will include Lisa Schirch, PhD, director of EMU’s 3P Security and professor in the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding; Carolyn Yoder, PhD, founder and trainer with EMU’s STAR (Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience) program; and Ed Martin and Gretchen Maust from EMU’s Center for Interfaith Engagement. The forum will be held in Common Grounds Coffee House in the lower level of University Commons. The event is free and open to the public.


Publication of an e-book, “STAR, The Unfolding Story, 2001-2011, a 9/11 commemorative edition,”  celebrates the birth and phenomenal growth of EMU’s trauma healing and training program, STAR, which grew out of 9/11 and has gone on to touch thousands of lives all over the world.

EMU’s thoughts on this anniversary point towards peace and the ongoing hope that people of varied faiths and traditions can unite around common values and aspirations.

EMU hopes these events and resources will generate energy to “walk boldly in the way of nonviolence and peace,” a stated goal from EMU’s mission.

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