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(Bethlehem, Pennsylvania) — Moravian College will commemorate the first anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks on America with a special day-long program, “A Day of Remembrance, Healing and Hope.” The program will commence at 8:45 a.m. on Wednesday, September 11, 2003, in Johnston Hall. The opening ceremony will begin with a procession of four vigil candles (one for each of the crashed airliners) and welcoming remarks from the College chaplain, David Bennett. Moravian College president Ervin J. Rokke will offer opening remarks, followed by a three-minute moment of silence. The choir will participate by singing the anthem. The College will the shorten class times slightly for the first two periods on Wednesday, so that students and faculty can attend the morning program.
Beginning at 9:15 a.m., the college community will be directed to the Haupert Union Building where “A Wall of Reflection” will be displayed. The HUB walls will contain news accounts and photos of the atrocity along with students’ words of expression.
Faculty members from the Psychology Department will take students through an emotional exercise, Guided Reflections of Grief and Healing From 10 to 11 a.m. in Prosser Auditorium. Beginning at 11 a.m. and lasting throughout the day, a continuous reading of the names and stories of the victims will be held in Prosser Auditorium.
At 11:30 a.m., members of the campus community will participate in a “Walking Memorial” that will begin at the Peace Pole on Moravian’s Main Street campus and continue to City Hall for the Community Remembrance Day Services held by the City of Bethlehem. The Moravian College program will continue in Prosser Auditorium at 1:30 p.m. with “Words of Healing,” a reading of Poetry and prose centering around the theme of healing.
A multi-faith holy readings, liturgical dance, drama, and community singing will take place at 3:30 p.m. in the Saal, located in the Moravian Theological Seminary at 60 W. Locust Street. Steve Gordy, professor of religion, Moravian College, will present “Finding Hope Amidst the Rubble: Reflections of a Theologian” at 5:30 p.m. in Prosser Auditorium.
The program will continue at 6 p.m. with a special talk by Moravian College alumni Frank C. Chou ’96, who escaped from the 61st floor of World Trade Center II, the second building to be hit in the September 11 terrorist attacks. Chou, who began work at Dean Witter (which then merged with Morgan Stanley) right after his graduation, was relatively new to the World Trade Center office, which occupied floors 44 through 76 of the now-destroyed tower.
Following Frank Chou will be a special talk by alumni J. Hugh Gratz, a licensed clinical social worker, a workshop presenter, and an organizational consultant in private practice in Trenton, N.J. Gratz was named the Central New York Social Worker of the Year in 1988 and is volunteering as a member of the NYC Red Cross mental health team working with people affected by the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.
The campus community is invited to take a moment for prayer and reflection in the Borhek Chapel and in the Saal (Bahnson Center) from 7 to 8 p.m.
The day-long program will culminate with Light Within the Darkness, a multi-faith candlelight service held at the Peace Pole at 8 p.m. This special ceremony will begin with a welcome and invocation from chaplain Bennett. The four Candles used in opening ceremony will be brought to the podium by four students (Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Hindu), a liturgical prayer of hope will be read antiphonally between them. As the choir signs an anthem, the flame from the four candles will be used to light all the candles at the vigil.
The day-long ceremony will come to a close as College president Ervin J. Rokke provides the concluding words of hope and inspiration. During president Rokke’s address, a large evergreen tree will be dedicated for the victims of 9/11. The tree will be lit with thousands of white lights, one for each victim of the terrorist attacks on America. A commemorative inscribed plaque will be placed by the tree (The tree will be illuminated by two flood lights throughout the year). The public is invited to the Light Within the Darkeness candlelight service.
Moravian College is a private, coeducational, selective liberal arts college located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Tracing its founding to 1742, it is recognized as America's sixth-oldest college. Visit the Web site at www.moravian.edu.