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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

SBS events are still upcoming

At the time of the Sept. 11 attacks, Brig. Gen. John Adams, who retired from the U.S. Army in 2007, was serving as the deputy director for European Policy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense at the Pentagon in Arlington County, Va.

Adams, who taught at UA South in 2010 and is pursuing a doctorate in the School of Government and Public Policy, will take part in a weeklong program called “9/11: How We’ve Changed.”

The events create an open forum where everyone can discuss their thoughts and stories on the tragedy and how to move America forward.

Albert J. Bergesen, head of the sociology department, said these events are less about specific questions and more about people telling their stories. Bergesen also said the department tried to set up the events so they had some sense of order — from lectures on history and dealing with the media to a book discussion and movie screening.

Bergeson said the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences’ events programs are an opportunity for the UA to showcase its distinguished faculty by shedding light on 9/11 and entertaining peoples’ thoughts and explanations “so we can at least deal with it.”

This Saturday, Laila Halaby, a Lebanese author who lives in Tucson, will lead a book discussion on her novel “Once in a Promised Land”. The novel addresses the growth and inescapability of Muslim stereotypes since 9/11, and how America’s paranoia and stereotyping affects Muslims living in America. On Sunday, the film “Rebirth” will be shown at The Loft Cinema. “Rebirth” is filmmaker Jim Whitaker’s documentation of five people who have either lost loved ones or were wounded during 9/11.

Many individuals are finding creative ways to commemorate the anniversary of 9/11.

Across America, citizens are memorializing the 10th anniversary of 9/11 by erecting monuments, holding services or hosting exhibits. This Sunday in New York City, the 9/11 memorial will be dedicated in a ceremony for victims’ families. The memorial is located at the site of former World Trade Center and consists of two waterfalls and reflecting pools, each pool about an acre in size, placed within the footprints of the Twin Towers.

“From The New York Times to local TV stations, everyone is coming to grips, in some way, with the 10th anniversary of 9/11,” Bergesen said.

Adams said the SBS events should not only honor and memorialize those who have died or been wounded, but should also inspire people to draw lessons from them.

Adams’ office was roughly 100 yards from the site of the crash. Adams said that, at the time of attack, everyone who worked with him at the Pentagon was concerned with only two things — helping with immediate recovery of the dead and wounded, and giving assistance to first responders such as firefighters and rescue squads.

“We were sorrowful about the casualties and angry at the same time,” Adams said. “I wanted to get those who attacked us — even when on that day, we did not yet know who ‘they’ were. Emotions in the Pentagon ran very high after the attack, at a visceral level.

“We were attacked, and we stood together. I saw this spirit of unity among my brothers and sisters in arms at the Pentagon on 9/11, and among those of us who served in the military during this past decade,” Adams said. “We’re fortunate to be part of a university community that encourages freedom of inquiry and quality of thought. Let’s hope that our reflection sheds light on how we can restore the peace and prosperity of our country after a decade of wars, hugely expensive in both lives and resources.”

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