Message from Dr. Belinda S. Miles: Remembering and Recovering
September 10, 2021
Tomorrow marks the 20th anniversary of the September 11th attacks on New York City’s World Trade Center. Westchester County counted over one hundred of its residents who were part of the toll of more than 2,600 who died at the site of this horrific tragedy. Many of us remember exactly where we were when we first heard the reports of the attacks, just as our parents or grandparents remembered the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
Tragic events such as these serve as mile markers on our life’s journey. Oftentimes, such events require us to take detours that depart from our planned route. We experienced such detours following 9/11. Our society sacrificed certain freedoms and privacies in the name of safety and security. Many people developed a wariness of “others.”
Despite these detours, we persisted. We persist to show our resolve in upholding principles and values that we hold dear. We persist to inform new generations born after 9/11 and with no personal memory of that day about such events and the importance of advocating for hopes, dreams, and wishes for our society. This is why we persist. To build a better future – for ourselves, for our families, and for our community.
And it is this same persistence, this same dedication to the future, that drives us as we begin to re-emerge from the pandemic – life’s detour for the current generation. Our return to campus reflects this persistence as we put ourselves in place to best support our students. We are paving the roads of our detours so that we can achieve our dreams and enable the dreams of our students.
So, please join me this weekend as we remember those we lost twenty years ago. But also join me in flexing our adaptability muscles so we can do the collective work of re-emerging from our current detour and fulfill our promises – to ourselves and to those we serve.
Finally, if you are so disposed, I hope you take advantage of WCC’s beautiful gardens and open spaces for contemplation, a peaceful stroll, or a place to take a break during our busy days. And a special thank you to our Phi Theta Kappa students for once again placing flags at our 9/11 Memorial Garden to honor the victims of that tragic day.
Dr. Belinda S. Miles