“In just a few weeks, the world will mark the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, a fitting time to come together as a community to reflect, to mourn, and to consider the ramifications for the survivors, the nation, and the world,” wrote Homi Bhabha, the Anne F. Rothenberg Professor of the Humanities, in a letter to the Harvard community.

File photo by Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer

Campus & Community

Remembering 9/11

9 min read

Harvard schedules services, panels to draw meaning from tragedy

The Harvard University community will commemorate the 10th anniversary of the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, with a number of activities across campus, including an installation in Harvard Yard, candlelight vigils, panel discussions, and an evening of remembrance at Sanders Theatre.

The Mahindra Humanities Center, with the support of the Office of the President, has organized the anniversary observance at Sanders, titled “The Art of Survival: A Tenth Anniversary Observance of 9/11 in Words, Music, and Dance.” Through a range of performances, the observance will explore themes of imagination and empathy, survival and solidarity, and anxiety and security, according to Humanities Center Director Homi Bhabha.

“In just a few weeks, the world will mark the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, a fitting time to come together as a community to reflect, to mourn, and to consider the ramifications for the survivors, the nation, and the world,” Bhabha wrote in a letter to the Harvard community.

Following is a schedule of commemorative events:

Sept. 1
6 p.m. “Reporting From a Transformed America: Echoes of 9/11”
John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum, Harvard Kennedy School

The event features a panel of New York Times journalists, including:

  • Rick Berke (moderator), national editor
  • Dan Barry, columnist
  • Jim Dao, national correspondent
  • Laurie Goodstein, national religion correspondent

For more information.

Sept. 6
3:30-4:30 p.m. “Disaster Response: A Decade of Lessons Learned Post-9/11” [Watch video of this event]

The Forum at Harvard School of Public Health

Moderator: Aaron Pressman, correspondent, Reuters

Panelists on the webcast include:

  • Isaac Ashkenazi, former surgeon general, Home Front Command, Israel; director of the Urban Terrorism Preparedness Project, National Preparedness Leadership Initiative, Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard Kennedy School; and professor of disaster medicine, Ben-Gurion University, Israel
  • Stefanos Kales, associate professor in the Department of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health; associate professor, Harvard Medical School; division chief, Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Cambridge Health Alliance; and principal investigator of a study of cardiovascular risk among firefighters
  • Stephanie Kayden, international emergency physician, Brigham and Women’s Hospital; instructor in medicine, Harvard Medical School; and faculty, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative
  • Jennifer Leaning, François-Xavier Bagnoud Professor of the Practice of Health and Human Rights, Harvard School of Public Health; associate professor of medicine, Harvard Medical School; and co-founder of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative

The live webcast will be at http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/forum/disaster-response-post-911.cfm.

7 p.m. “9/11: Ten Years On”
John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum, Harvard Kennedy School

Moderator: Graham Allison, director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

The panel includes:

  • R. Nicholas Burns, professor of the practice of diplomacy and international politics, Harvard Kennedy School
  • Juliette Kayyem, lecturer in public policy, Harvard Kennedy School; former assistant secretary for intergovernmental affairs, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • Michael Leiter, former director, National Counterterrorism Center

Sept. 6-12
Ongoing. Reflection Board
Harvard Divinity School, Andover Hall

The Center for the Study of World Religions and the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life at Harvard Divinity School invite students, faculty, and administrators to reflect on the significance of 9/11. Members of the Harvard community are invited to share thoughts, experiences (spiritual, personal, and professional), and opinions, centered on the following questions: “How would you characterize the study of religion in the decade following 9/11?” “Has this event altered our field or the role you see yourself playing within it?”

Sept. 7
5:30-7 p.m. “Teaching 9/11”
Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE), Longfellow Hall

Moderator: Meira Levinson, associate professor of education, HGSE

The speakers include:

  • Thea Abu El-Haj, associate professor, Rutgers Graduate School of Education
  • Ali Asani, professor of Indo-Muslim and Islamic religion and cultures; chair, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University
  • Beverly Gage, associate professor of history, Yale University
  • Diane L. Moore, senior lecturer on religious studies and education, Harvard Divinity School
  • Christopher Ougheltree, social studies teacher, Cranston High School East, Cranston, R.I.

“Teaching 9/11” brings together participants from the fields of education, history, government, religion, and politics for a roundtable discussion about how, why, and what we should teach young people about 9/11. The forum provides a powerful opportunity to reflect on questions such as: “How should we teach the recent past?” “What are some of the complexities in teaching highly emotional and contentious issues?” “Is location of the classroom significant in teaching 9/11?” “What should the goals of teaching 9/11 include?” For more information.

Sept. 8
4-6 p.m. “10th Anniversary of 9/11 Campuswide Panel Discussion”
Fong Auditorium, Boylston Hall

This discussion will feature talks by several Harvard scholars concerning how to engage dialogue on 9/11 in America. Presented by the Center for Middle Eastern Studies Outreach Center, the Middle East Initiative at the Harvard Kennedy School, and the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Islamic Studies Program.

The panel members include:

  • Jocelyne Cesari, director, Islam in the West Program and the Islamopedia Project; research associate of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies; senior research fellow and professor, Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Paris
  • Duncan Kennedy, Carter Professor of General Jurisprudence, Harvard Law School
  • Charlie Clements, executive director, Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, Harvard Kennedy School

Sept. 11
7 a.m. “Moving Tribute,” presented by the Kennedy School Armed Forces Committee, Cambridge Common
An informal, 5-mile run carrying Old Glory from Cambridge Common to Boston Common. Non-runners are also encouraged to help with logistics & support. For more details and to RSVP, see the Facebook event page.

8:46 a.m., 9:03 a.m., 9:37 a.m., 10:06 a.m.: Memorial Church and Lowell House bells toll at the times when the planes crashed

8:46 a.m. “Moment of Interfaith Prayer and Reflection”
Memorial Church steps

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Education-Related Service Projects, organized by the Kennedy School Armed Forces Committee.

  • Library Books for Boston Public Schools Libraries & Mural Creation
    Volunteers will create a spectacular chalk mural on City Hall Plaza. Volunteers will also be readying library books for use at Boston Public School libraries.  Register here.
  • Outdoor Makeover of the Hennigan School in Jamaica Plain
    Volunteers at the Hennigan School in Jamaica Plain will help to rehabilitate an urban orchard area—transforming it into an outdoor classroom with benches and pathway; exterior painting of the school; planting of bulbs; and putting a fresh coat of paint on sidewalk games. Register here.

11 a.m. Sunday service at the Memorial Church, dedicated to 9/11

Guest speaker: David Gergen, director of the Center for Public Leadership, Harvard Kennedy School

1-3:45 p.m.  Interfaith Conversations on the 10th Anniversary of September 11
Boylston Hall, Harvard Yard

Interfaith Conversation on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, sponsored by the chaplains, Interfaith Council, Pluralism Project, and graduate student interfaith groups

  • Keynote address by Samir Selmanovic, founder and president of the Board of Manhattan Faith House

4 p.m. “The Art of Survival: A Tenth Anniversary Observance of 9/11 in Words, Music, and Dance”

Presented by the President’s Office and Mahindra Humanities Center, at Sanders Theatre. The program includes musical, dance, and spoken word performances by the Brattle Street Chamber Players, Jill Johnson, affiliates of the American Repertory Theatre, and others.

Free and open to the public. Tickets required and available at the Harvard Box Office starting Aug. 30. For more information.

8 p.m. “College-wide Vigil Commemorating the 10th Anniversary of Sept. 11″
Memorial Church steps

8:30 p.m. Harvard Law School candlelight vigil
Jarvis Field (rain location: Ropes Gray Room, Pound Hall)

Sept. 11-30
Ongoing. “Poetry Posts” installation in Harvard Yard

A series of eight pillars, inscribed with poetry, that start at the Barker Center and lead to Massachusetts Hall, commemorating the Harvard alumni who died on Sept. 11. The posts are intended as gathering places for reflection and conversation. Each post carries the names of Harvard graduates who perished on that day and recalls their presence for the Harvard community.

Sept. 13
Noon. HLS Federalist Society presents a lecture by former Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff
For more information, email dos@law.harvard.edu.

6:30 p.m. GSD presents “Sept. 11: Memory, Vision, Practice”
Piper Auditorium

  • Mark Jarzombek, Massachusetts Institute of Technology School of Architecture and Planning, Cambridge
  • Erika Naginski, Harvard Graduate School of Design, Cambridge
  • Kirk Savage, University of Pittsburgh
  • Krzysztof Wodiczko, artist

Sept. 15
4:00-7:00 p.m., “The State of the Union”

Presented by Harvard University Program on Constitutional Government
Science Center, Lecture Hall D

A panel discussion including:

  • Tom Cotton ’99, U.S. Army combat veteran in Iraq and Afghanistan; Congressional candidate, Ark.
  • E.J. Dionne, Jr. ’73, columnist, Washington Post; professor, Georgetown University
  • William Kristol ’73, editor, The Weekly Standard
  • Michael Sandel, Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Government, Harvard University

Sept. 16
9:30 a.m.-noon, “The State of the Universities”

Presented by Harvard University Program on Constitutional Government
Tsai Auditorium, CGIS South

A panel discussion featuring:

  • Brian Bolduc ’10, editorial associate, National Review
  • Harry Lewis ’68, Gordon McKay Professor of Computer Science; former dean of Harvard College
  • Naomi Schaefer Riley ’98, author, affiliate scholar at the Institute for American Values
  • Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, M.P.A. ’66, president emeritus, university professor, George Washington University

12:30-3:00 p.m., “The State of the World”
Presented by Harvard University Program on Constitutional Government
Tsai Auditorium, CGIS South

A panel discussion with:

  • Elliott Abrams ’69, J.D. ’73, senior fellow for Middle Eastern Studies, Council on Foreign Relations
  • William Kristol ’73, editor, The Weekly Standard
  • Charles Maier ’60, Leverett Saltonstall Professor of History, Harvard University
  • Kenneth Pollack, Brookings Institution, director of research, Saban Center for Middle East Policy

Sept. 16-17
“Law, Security and Liberty after 9/11: Looking to the Future”
Milstein Room, Wasserstein Hall

A two-day law symposium sponsored by the HLS-Brookings Program on Law and Security. For more information, email dos@law.harvard.edu.