Ball State provost leads moment of silence for 20th anniversary of 9/11

Ball State University Provost Susana Rivera-Mills stood at the foot of Beneficence Thursday, Sep. 10 and welcomed a small crowd to a memorial ceremony for the 20th anniversary on 9/11. 

She began her speech with a quote from Nathaniel Hawthorne, saying “Time flies over us, but leaves its shadow behind.” 

Rivera-Mills, who reflected on her own memory of that day, said she felt “helpless” as she watched the television coverage of the attacks. She then spoke of the collective healing process the country went through.

“We came together to serve. We came together to grieve,” Rivera-Mills said. “It was truly a time of incredible unity. And it's that same sense of unity that we need so much today.”

Rivera-Mills then welcomed Darren Wheeler, department chair of the department of political science and professor of political science, to speak about the anniversary of the attacks.  

“It's a seminal event because everyone alive remembers where they were that day,” Wheeler said. “It's one of those days, I've spent the entire week talking with people swapping stories about where we were.”

Wheeler, who said he had been studying the effects of 9/11 since 2001, believes the process of healing is still ongoing in our nation. He also spoke on how the nation responded to the event and the effect it has had on everyone.

“Some of my remarks today about what I think about how we have responded, as a government, people seem less than positive,” Wheeler said. “It's because this is an ongoing process and we can do better.”

To close the ceremony, Rivera-Mills invited senior musical theatre major Betsy Sandifer and Jake Mickel to perform “Amazing Grace” before a moment of silence. Rivera-Mills announced the Shafer Tower carillon bells will ring every 10 seconds between 9-10 a.m. to remember the tragedy.

Sandifer reflected on the opportunity to perform after the ceremony ended.

“It's an honor. I know I have grandparents, that have served," Sandifer said. "And so to get to stand here and rally together as a community is something that's really special and I'm really grateful."  

Contact Eli Houser with comments at ejhouser@bsu.edu.

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