Observing the 20th Anniversary of 9.11

Dear Orange Friends:

Today marks the 20th anniversary of the attacks at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and aboard Flight 93. Some of our students weren’t yet born on Sept. 11, 2001. Many are too young to remember how that day changed how we viewed ourselves, our country and our world. As I do, others will always remember exactly where they were when the attacks happened. I remember watching the towers fall. I remember the fear, the anger and the grief.

At Syracuse University, we observe this tragic anniversary together because on that day the faculty, staff, students and alumni of Syracuse University stood together in crisis. Syracuse University lost 30 alumni. Countless Orange community members lost family members, colleagues and friends. Syracuse alumni walked down dozens of floors of the World Trade Center to safety. They were some of the first responders and among the emergency medical personnel treating the injured. Syracuse alumni were serving in the Pentagon, moving quickly to respond to an unknown threat. Some were in harm’s way that day and, by the grace of God, some survived. In the aftermath of the attacks, some found themselves the target of hate and discrimination.

As a community and a nation, we come together today to remember the pain of those who suffered. We come together to support Syracuse alumni and all who serve in the defense of our nation. We honor the lives of those lost in service to our country in the years that followed, including 13 heroic service members killed in Afghanistan just weeks ago. We offer gratitude to those who work in institutions that promote peace and understanding between nations, religions and ideologies.

Today, 20 years later, Syracuse University seeks to educate global citizens in an increasingly divided world, put aside differences and pray for peace and healing. Syracuse University is a place where we create change and build a better future. As we commemorate this solemn anniversary, I ask every member of our community to take a moment to consider how we each can make choices that heal division, foster understanding and perpetuate kindness.


Kent Syverud




Chancellor Kent Syverud