To: All Campus
Saturday, Sept. 11, is the 20th anniversary of a day of profound national grief: the day terrorists attacked New York and Washington, in which thousands of people died. Two decades later, our war in Afghanistan — the longest in this nation’s history — has just been brought to its conclusion.
For many of us, that Tuesday morning 20 years ago will live forever in our shared memory; for too many others, those attacks and the wars that followed stole away their loved ones — fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, friends, colleagues — before their time. We take this moment to remember and honor their collective sacrifice.
Half of UC Merced’s undergraduate population knows Sept. 11 only as history. They do not have direct memories of the day, but they fully share in the impact of lives lost, opportunities forgone, and profound psychological trauma from which recovery may take decades more.
We will mark this anniversary of Sept. 11 with flags at half-staff and with tearful memories for those who died needlessly and respect for those who died heroically. At UC Merced, we must mark this day in deep reflection and in expanding our body of research, excellence in teaching, and impact of service that helps to shape a world that avoids such catastrophe in the future.
Juan Sánchez Muñoz, Ph.D.