This story also appeared on the Dallas Observer.

To Mark September 11 Anniversary, SMU Launches Website, Plans Series of Events

Robert Wilonsky, Dallas Observer Blogs, August 26, 2011 

After the jump is a video just posted by SMU and the school's Maguire Center for Ethics & Public Responsibility in which student Christina Rancke, Class of 2013, talks about losing her father in the collapse of the World Trade Center's south tower on September 11, 2001. She was in seventh grade at the time, and was pulled aside in gym class, she says, and told "there was an accident at the World Trade Center." It would take months before her father was officially pronounced dead.

Ranke and Rais Bhuiyan are among those scheduled to participate in myriad events planned on the Hilltop beginning September 7 and culminating with a Service of Remembering, presided over by SMU President R. Gerald Turner and chaplain Stephen Rankin, on September 11. A full schedule of events also follows.

On September 8, in the Meadows Museum Sculpture Garden, the university will also plant 2,977 flags, one for each of those killed in the terror attacks of 10 years ago. The university has also launched this website: 9/11 Remembered, where the university requests you "share with us your memories of that fateful day."


WHAT: SMU will host a range of free public events to help the community find peace and meaning 10 years after the day that changed our nation forever. "Only by bringing our thoughts, feelings, prejudices and knowledge to the forefront can we resist those who would manipulate us," says Rita Kirk, director of the Maguire Center for Ethics & Public Responsibility. "In essence, how we remember that day is an important ethical choice."

WHEN: Sept. 7-11, 2011, various times

HIGHLIGHTS: SMU student Christina Rancke, who lost her father on 9/11 in the collapse of the World Trade Center's south tower, will share her thoughts at a Service of Remembering Sept. 11. Dallas resident Rais Bhuiyan, who survived an anti-Muslim hate crime stemming from 9/11, will join a campus discussion on "Ending the Cycles of Violence" Sept. 9. And a special website, Share Your Thoughts, Preserve Your Memories, will begin accepting the community's memories and thoughts about 9/11 on Aug. 27 at


Sept. 7: "What Happened? A Historic Account" features SMU Political Science Professor Seyom Brown of the John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies, 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. at McCord Auditorium in Dallas Hall.

Sept. 8-Sept. 11: Plaza Memorial: A Meditative Space, at SMU's Meadows Museum Sculpture Garden, 5900 Bishop Blvd. 2,977 flags will be planted in the plaza for each of the 9/11 victims and their families.

Sept. 8: "Haunted Memories and Complex Loyalties," a Maguire Public Scholar Lecture by Professor William Abraham focused on terrorism's ties to religion and other motivating factors, will be at the SMU Faculty Club, 3034 Daniel Ave. The event, from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., is open to the public but advance reservation is required by visiting (see "Events") or calling 214-768-4255.

Sept. 9: University Park Fire Department Ceremony will include a Posting of the Colors with bagpipes, a ringing of the fire bell and remarks by the city chaplain. SMU police officers will join the event, at 3800 University Blvd., scheduled for 7:46 a.m., when the first commercial airplane (American Airlines flight 77) was overtaken by terrorists.

Sept. 9: "Ending the Cycles of Violence: Reflections on Compassion, Forgiveness and Healing" will feature a diverse gathering of religious and peace leaders, including Bill McElvaney, professor emeritus of SMU's Perkins School of Theology, Hind Jarrah, Ph.D., of the Texas Muslim Women's Foundation and Br. ChiSing Eng, a Thich Nhat Hanh ordained Buddhist monk with the Dallas Meditation Center. Sponsored by SMU's Embrey Human Rights Program in Dedman College and the Dallas Peace Center, the event will take place from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the McCord Auditorium in Dallas Hall.

Sept. 10: Half-Time Tribute from the SMU Band during the University of Texas-El Paso game at Gerald J. Ford Stadium, 5801 Airline Road. The 6 p.m. event will be part of regular admission to the game. For details visit or call 214-768-4263/800-745-3000.

Sept. 11: "The Day the Whole World Watched" features SMU Political Science Professor Matthew Wilson discussing "The Intersection of Religion and Politics," SMU Ethics Professor Robin Lovin speaking on "Politics, Morality and Ethical Responsibility in a Terror-Afflicted Society," SMU Political Science Professor Seyom Brown discussing "How the World Has Changed" and UTD Public Policy Professor Lloyd J. Dumas addressing "What We (Should) Have Learned About Counterterrorism" at McCord Auditorium in Dallas Hall. The 6 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. event will be moderated by Maguire Center Director Rita Kirk.

Sept. 11: Service of Remembering, presided over by SMU President R. Gerald Turner and Chaplain Stephen Rankin, with Student Event Chair Christina Rancke, whose father perished in one of the World Trade Center towers on 9/11. The event will be 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on the steps of Dallas Hall.

VISITOR PARKING: Visitor parking information for weekday events is available at here. Visitors attending the Sunday, Sept. 11 events will find available parking in lots north and east of Dallas Hall (Building 1 on the visitor parking map), accessible through open gates on Daniel Avenue and University Boulevard.

MORE DETAILS: Visit and see "Events" or contact 214-768-4255 or
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