Dear UMPI Community,
On September 11, 2001, I was doing what a number of faculty and staff who are still here at UMPI, these twenty-two years later, were doing that very day—teaching class, at work in our offices and around campus, and otherwise doing the things we would normally do on a bright and clear September morning here in Aroostook County. Those of us who are old enough to remember the initial reports of the strikes on the Twin Towers, and the confusion and disbelief that came in response to those reports, can likely also recall very specific details: who we were talking to, what we were watching, how those around us first knew of what was to become a day that would see the loss of nearly 3,000 lives, but also leave lasting impacts on those who survived, those who provided succor and assistance, and those who strove to make sense of the events themselves.
For those who can remember, these events persist in our memories, as do those which followed. I hope we can all take at least a moment, as this day comes to a close, to consider those who lost their lives, not just on the day itself; and consider those who acted heroically, whether they be first responders, or those who resisted on United Flight 93, or those who provided support for survivors and those who lost loved ones, again, not just on September 11 itself; but that we be mindful of all those who sacrificed and supported and served in response to that tragic day’s aftermath, even years later.
As we remember those lives and those who sacrificed, we are also reminded, again, of the need to condemn terrorism and acts of radicalism that lead to violence. And we must simultaneously remember to embrace diversity and inclusion, respecting all members of our communities, in all of our differences. By continuing to hear and value that difference, we can continue to build a stronger university, a stronger nation, and a stronger world.