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Commemorating September 11, 2001

As we approach the 20th anniversary of the attacks on September 11, I’d like to ask the community to join me in a moment of reflection.

For those of us who witnessed the events here in New York or elsewhere around the globe, it is hard to believe that so much time has passed that the majority of our students were not even born yet on that day. In fact, many of our newer faculty and staff members were young children at the time.

Yet, as the distance from 9/11 increases, it remains salient in our nation’s collective memory and is especially poignant this year as the war in Afghanistan finally comes to an end.

As we remember those who were lost and those who risked their lives to help rescue the survivors, we also recall the resiliency of New York and the sense of unification when it seemed like the nation came together in a joined purpose. We remember neighbors helping neighbors, the lines to donate blood around the block, and volunteers feeding first responders and raising funds for grieving families.

However, we also remember the dark days that followed for our Muslim friends and neighbors who faced prejudice and hate crimes fueled by fear, distrust, and misunderstanding.

Now as we are in another extraordinary time, between the pandemic and our ongoing issues of injustice, I hope we can come together to face the moment with empathy and compassion as one community and one nation, and not give in to the misinformation and fear around us.

On Saturday, September 11 at 3:30pm Westchester County is unveiling their memorial to honor the county’s first responders who lost their lives to related illnesses. Some of our Conservatory of Music students will be performing in tribute. The event will be livestreamed.

I hope you will join me in finding an appropriate time on this solemn date to reflect.

Stay safe.