In the early morning of September 10, students, faculty, and staff alike gathered on the front of Boyden Hall’s lawn for a moment of remembrance for the worst events in our Nation’s history. This event was created for the university to reflect on the past 20 years of change and grief that our nation, and most recently the BSU community, has gone through.
Professor of Elementary and Early Childhood Education Dr. Kevin McGowan started the ceremony with open remarks and was followed up by Student Government Association President, Tyler Czyras. President Czyras spoke about how although many current BSU students were not alive or old enough to remember the day of September 11, 2001, they grew up with the trauma and consequence of it. President Czyras completed his speech with a reminder to never forget. Reverend Beth Stotts spoke next giving a sermon about how we must support one another in times of trauma. President Clark then spoke about those affected who were Bridgewater Bears. After President Clark, Executive Director of Public Safety and Chief of the Bridgewater University Police station, David Tillinghast spoke about the bravery and noble sacrifices that first responders gave during the crisis and how we can all learn from them. After Chief Tillinghast gave his remarks, Bridgewater Town Manager Michael Dutton reminded the community that every person had a job to do. After Dutton spoke, Dr. McGowan introduced Brian Duchaney for the veteran center who gave a perspective often missed when talking about the effects of 9/11 from a veteran who served in Afghanistan. After sharing his insight, Duchaney shared remarks for Sergeant Johanny Rosario, who will be remembered as one of the last deaths of the Afghanistan war. Duchaney then introduced Lauren Folloni from Student Affairs to read out a poem written by former poet laureate, Billy Collins titled, “The Names” to remember those who were lost during that tragic day. Provost Karim Ismaili then gave a brief remark for the faculty and staff of the university acknowledging their trauma and commending their work. President Czyras then welcomed the Martin Richard Institute Social Justice Choir to sing “Give Us Peace” by Robert DeCormier. The choir performed in acapella and was a powerful presence. Dr. McGowan then closed out the ceremony by highlighting the new peace flag being hung at Boyden Hall and how that flag reminds every member of the BSU community to be kind.
Altogether, this event was a powerful reminder of what the country lost and learned for the tragedy of 9/11. For those who missed the event, the peace flag will continue to fly through September for people to reflect.