Preparing this issue for publication has been a challenge.
It has been six months since the events of Sept. 11--time
enough to gain some small perspective on that day, but not
nearly long enough to digest its implications. What Sept.
11 has come to mean to me, I suppose, is a renewed understanding
of the magnitude of each individual life and the momentousness
of each seemingly mundane day. That understanding has been
brought to me by seven people who, though technically strangers,
have become something else.
I did not know Ted Brennan, Tom Burke, Neilie Casey, John
Farrell, Todd Isaac, Beth Quigley or John Ryan. But I've
spent the last few months staring at their pictures and reading
the words of remembrance and tribute from their family members,
friends and classmates. What those words and images convey,
along with an overwhelming sense of love and loss, is an
awareness of individual identity. In the moments that I read
of Tom Burke--"Burkey"--pushing his sons on a backyard
tree swing, or of an eight-year-old John Farrell, stopping
with his family at the College Square Howard Johnson's and
spotting his "dream college," these strangers come
alive for me. As you page through the magazine and look at
these snapshots of their lives, I hope you'll feel that same
sense of connection.
We've also solicited the opinions and reflections of some
of our faculty and alumni regarding "the meaning of
9/11." These responses are the beginning of a campus
dialogue about the implications of a historic and horrific
event. They call to mind, I think, the question that lies
at the heart of our First-Year Program--"How, then,
shall we live?"
You might agree or disagree with what you find in these
essays. But the act of engaging in the debate is at the heart
of what we do at Holy Cross. And to share our ideas and insights,
to allow ourselves to shape and be shaped by our interaction
with others, is to reject the numbing brutality and the sense
of helplessness that continue to emanate from Sept. 11.
We will spend this six-month anniversary remembering the
fallen and reflecting on the significance of our loss. And
in this way, we will find the strength to move into the days
and years ahead.