September 09, 2021 | Office of the President

Twenty Years After 9/11 (September 9, 2021)

To the campus community, 

This Saturday will be the twentieth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

Few, if any, of our current students remember that shocking and terrifying day, but they have grown up in a world that has been forever changed by it. For those of us who watched with horror as the attacks unfolded in New York, Washington, DC, and Shanksville, Pennsylvania, vivid memories of where we were and what we experienced will always be with us. 

The casualties from the attacks on our homeland on that sunny Tuesday morning were unspeakable, with nearly 3,000 dead, over 25,000 injuries, and long-term health effects that still haunt first responders and others who were there. And, since then, many, many more people around the world have died or have been gravely injured in the conflicts that followed and that continue. On that day, and in the days that followed, we were also witness to endless examples of heroism, sacrifice, and selflessness. 

Among the dead on 9/11 were three Bowdoin graduates: Frank J. Doyle ’85, Christopher S. Gardner ’87, and James M. Roux ’81. Many others in our community had loved ones who were killed or injured or who have died or been wounded since. Bowdoin graduates, faculty, and staff have served in the military since 2001, continuing a long and proud tradition here, and many others have dedicated themselves to reducing the suffering that ensued. 

Saturday will be a solemn day for our community and for communities across America and around the world. The Bowdoin Student Government will continue its tradition of sponsoring the planting of American flags by members of the campus community on the Dudley Coe Quad on Saturday.   

I hope you will take a moment this weekend to reflect on the immense loss and profound sacrifice, and on how that day changed us and our world.