Tuesday marked the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. As noted by major news outlets, the day involved subdued ceremonies in comparison to previous years, especially last year’s milestone 10th anniversary. The New York Times didn’t mention it on the front page, and for the first time ever no politician spoke at the memorial in downtown Manhattan.
As NYC and the rest of the nation quietly observed Patriot Day, one energetic canine broke the silence at Trinity. John and Alice Sheldon’s visit to our campus (recounted on Page 11) details how a perfect alignment of events including one yellow lab, one small university in South Texas, one American hero and a family from New York created an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our community.
Tuesday night’s talk with the Jurgens family offered a rare, first-hand account into the lives of those who lost family members and acted as a reminder that while the events of that day are seen as a national tragedy with far-reaching impact on the world, an underlying story of personal tragedy persists for those who lost a loved one.
As Managing Editor Megan Julian points out in her guest column (Page 9) our generation was in many ways detached from the catastrophe because of our age and location at the time of the attacks. Having the Sheldons on campus reminded us that, for the families of the 2,977 victims, there is never really closure. For many of us at The Trinitonian the Sheldon’s altered our view of that day forever.
Regardless of whether you had the chance to meet them personally, there’s an important lesson to be learned from the Sheldons’ visit: there are outside educational opportunities here at Trinity, that if capitalized on, can really make a difference in the way we think about the world and our place in it.
It’s not uncommon to hear students gripe about the lack of things to do on campus, but, if we do our jobs well, The Trinitonian should be proving to you every week that Trinity, San Antonio and Texas are all happening places.
Where else, other than a college campus, can you join 66 organizations including an acrobatic yoga club (Page 12) or start your own club like the new E3 Initiative (Page 1). Who gets the opportunity, on a regular basis, to attend lectures by notable policymakers, intellectuals and just genuinely interesting people? Finally, who can say they helped raise a TSA dog in honor of a fallen 9/11 hero so that she may someday become a hero herself?
Not many. Which is all the more reason to remember to, as Ben Newhouse (we’ll miss you, Ben!) would say … “claim your education.” Challenge yourself to think outside the realms of your usual thought process to look for answers, engage with people vastly different from yourself and push yourself to take advantage of the opportunities afforded to us.