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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    “A campus mourns: A look back on Sept. 11, 2001”

    On the day of the terrorist attacks, then-President Peter Likins had a “”Wall of Expression”” erected on the UA Mall for anyone to write down thoughts pertaining to the attacks. Tucsonan Mark Bassett signs the ‘Wall of Expression’ Sept. 11, 2001, on the UA Mall. The wall was created after the attacks in New York and Washington, D.C.

    The wall became a forum for the UA community to express thoughts and emotions regarding the attacks. Many different emotions were expressed on the wall – some were angry, while others expressed grief or hope. Hundreds paused in front of the walls to read what had been written. The panels were displayed on campus for about a month after the terrorist attacks and then put into storage, where they now remain. Other walls were also placed in residence halls across campus.

    After the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, more than 1,000 people gathered on the UA Mall in a matter of hours to make sense of the tragedy. The “”community meeting,”” which was organized by 20 to 30 UA officials that morning, featured more than 15 speakers, including President Peter Likins, Associated Students of the University of Arizona President Ray Quintero and various UA community members. An open mic session was also held for people to voice their concerns and opinions about the attacks.

    Likins stressed the need for students and faculty to stay positive and not blame a specific group for the tragedies. “”There are people of all nations on this campus that come to us from every corner of the world,”” he said. “”There are no nations responsible for these crimes, which are crimes against humanity, not just crimes against America.””

    The athletics department also took a moment to grieve following the attacks. Football practice was held at the normal time on Sept. 11, 2001, and for many players it was a chance for them to get away from the trauma of the national events. John Mackovic, head football coach at the time, talked with the football players about the day. “”There are brothers and sisters that we don’t even know, and we hurt for them,”” Mackovic said. “”In spite of that, we felt that there were other issues that we had to address, and that is being able to get back on the field and do some things. Hopefully this will give us some other things to work for, to better ourselves as we go about it.””

    More than 300 people attended a vigil at the St. Thomas More Catholic Newman Center on the evening of the terrorist attacks. The UA’s Catholic Newman Center vigil was part of a joint effort with other Newman Centers from universities around the country, including Northern Arizona University, Arizona State University, Oregon State University, the University of Delaware and the University of Minnesota at Duluth. Other religious groups on campus held ceremonies and prayer sessions throughout the week. Joel Simon, former president of the Hillel Center, told the audience at the vigil that there would be a joint memorial service the following evening on the UA Mall, presented by Hillel and the Islamic Center of Tucson. “”This is a time when we all need to pray together,”” Simon said. “”Tonight we are starting to love our neighbors as ourselves.””

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