September 11 Memorial Convocation
In the days following the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Cornell students, faculty and staff responded with memorials, relief efforts and a teach-in. Later, campus forums discussed specific plans and problems, and Cornellians offered their expertise as well as concrete assistance.
On Friday, September 14, the National Day of Prayer and Remberance, some 12,000 students, faculty members, staff members, local alumni, and their families gathered on the Arts Quad on Sept. 14 for an all-university Memorial Convocation. In his remarks, President Rawlings avowed:
In the midst of this week's tragic events, it is essential that we reaffirm Cornell's core value of academic freedom, and the responsibility that goes with it. What can we do to help the nation bind up its wounds? We will do what we do best: educate our students in open classrooms and campus-wide teach-ins; conduct our research and scholarship in open laboratories and libraries; and publish our work in open journals and airways. That is the best response to the evil of terrorism, which lives in secret and thrives on hatred. Terrorism is the negation of freedom and responsibility. Cornell is a beacon of freedom and responsibility.