Thank you all for being with us today. We gather as a community in this solemn moment to mark the 20th anniversary of the September 11th attacks.
The great poet Maya Angelou, who preached many times in this Chapel, wrote that trauma lives on “in our heart, our mind, and our memories.” As we gather today, we all share in the collective trauma of those terrible events, whether we remember them or not. We share in the pain of the lives lost, in the uncertainty of a world still unbalanced by the horror of that day, and in the mistrust that sadly pervades so much of our society.
But even amidst this despair, there is an opportunity for extraordinary hope. As Maya Angelou reminds us, we are not left with our memories alone—we also have our hearts and our minds. Together, we can turn with our hearts to build a more inclusive, empathic community here at Duke and beyond. We can use our minds to foster a greater understanding of our world and our place in it, and to live lives of service to our neighbors and engagement with our communities.
Today, as we mark this anniversary, let us hear that call together. Thank you.