As a community, how different are we now as a result of the events of Sept. 11, 2001? What has been gained, and what has been lost? A panel of community leaders will explore these topics and more at a University of Puget Sound event to reflect on the time that has passed since the 2001 terrorist attacks.
In a partnership between University of Puget Sound and Immanuel Presbyterian Church, members of the community are invited to Kilworth Chapel on Sept. 8 at 7 p.m. to hear from a panel consisting of Mayor Marilyn Strickland, UPS Dean of Students Michael Segawa, News Tribune columnist Kathleen Merryman, Futurist.com founder Glen Hiemstra and student Social Justice Coordinator Imari Romeo.
Director for Spirituality & Justice and University Chaplain Dave Wright hopes the event simply spurs a dialog in the community. “It is our goal that this discussion is about building community in spite of the ways 9/11 has torn us apart and driven wedges between political and religious communities,” he said.
Wright and Pastor Dave Brown of Immanuel Presbyterian Church have been working for the past year on developing memorial events that send a message of hope and understanding to the community.
The day holds special meaning for Brown, who had arrived in New York City early on the day of the attacks. “The whole day is very powerful for me, after watching it all happen in front of me,” Brown said. “I know a small piece of what the trauma was like, after watching it unfold and smelling smoke that stayed in the city for days. I understand how people could become hateful after witnessing these events.”
Brown and Wright have collaborated on several other events throughout the week, most with the ongoing theme of interfaith understanding. “We are stronger together than we are apart,” Brown said. “It’s so important to realize that individual hate-filled people do not speak for entire religious groups.”
Although the panel discussion does not have any specific religious focus, the goal is to engage people to work together across religious lines. “I believe the event will offer an interesting mix of perspectives,” Wright added. “9/11 is a defining moment in our lives, but it’s time now to turn the conversation to what builds hope.”
Kilworth Chapel is located on campus at North 18th and Warner streets.
Organizations throughout the Tacoma area are holding events in memory of the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Here is a list of a few events taking place around town:
Sun., Sept. 4
Immanuel Presbyterian Church, 10:30 a.m. – In anticipation of the 10th anniversary of 9/11, Immanuel will be building hope through interfaith worship. The sermon will be given by Don Mackenzie, Iman Jamal Rahman and Rabbi Ted Falcon, authors of “Getting to the Heart of Interfaith.” The service starts at 10:30 a.m. Immanuel Presbyterian Church is located at 901 N. ‘J’ St. Info: www.ipctacoma.org.
Sun., Sept. 11
Temple Theater, 7 p.m. – Local musicians and artists are coming together for a special event in memory of the 10-year anniversary of 9/11. The 7 p.m. concert will benefit the VetsMeetVets Mission to End Veteran Suicide. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.togetherwestand.info.
Firefighters Memorial, 9:30 a.m. – Tacoma Fire Department Honor Guard invites the public to attend the “Remembering 9/11” ceremony at Firefighters Memorial, located at 3301 Ruston Way. Firefighters will also be accepting donations on behalf of the Pierce County Emergency Food Network at the event.
Thea’s Park, 12 p.m. – Freedom Walks have been held across the nation for many years with the purpose to reflect on the lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001, renew a commitment to freedom and the values of this country and to honor veterans, both past and present. Tacoma’s Freedom Walk will start at Thea’s Park at noon.
Immanuel Presbyterian Church, 5 p.m. – A “Building Hope” blues vespers benefit will feature music by Bill Sims, Jr., Mark LaVoie, Adam Levy and Rod Cook & Toast. All proceeds from the event will benefit Habitat for Humanity International projects in Guatemala. Immanuel Presbyterian Church is located at 901 N. ‘J’ St. Info: www.ipctacoma.org.