Dear Alfred University students, staff, and faculty:
Saturday, September 11, marks the 20th anniversary of the 9-11 terrorist attacks which claimed the lives of nearly 3,000 people, many of them New York City first responders. Terrorists used hijacked airplanes to carry out suicide attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon; a fourth plane crashed in a field in rural Shanksville, Pennsylvania after the hijackers’ plans to fly the plane into the United States Capitol were thwarted by the passengers and crew. Visiting the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville one cannot help but be moved by the heroism and sacrifices made by the hijacked passengers and crew under conditions of extreme duress.
The 9-11 attacks triggered a major U.S. initiative to combat terrorism. That effort led to what became a two-decade American military presence in Afghanistan, which ended last month with the withdrawal of U.S. troops. More than 2,400 U.S. service members—including the 13 killed while aiding with last month’s withdrawal—and nearly 4,000 U.S. contractors, along with tens of thousands of Afghan civilians, police, and military personnel, lost their lives in Afghanistan over the 2001-2021 time period.
As we approach the solemn remembrance of 9-11, please join me in honoring those who perished in the attacks. We as a nation continue to grieve for their families. We also mourn the lives lost in Afghanistan over the last two decades and recognize the sacrifice our service men and women have made to help protect our nation. The flags on our University’s campus will be flying at half-staff this weekend in remembering the losses and sacrifices.
As a reminder, “9/11 and Afghanistan: Twenty Years After,” a roundtable discussion, will be held at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, September 9, in the lobby of Alfred University’s Herrick Memorial Library. Panelists for the discussion will include: Andrew Kless, assistant professor of human studies at Alfred University; Danielle Gagne, professor of psychology at Alfred University; Gary Ostrower ‘61, professor of history at Alfred University; and Francisco Morales, director of the Military Program at St. Bonaventure University. Kless and Morales served in Afghanistan with the U.S. Army.