Faculty, Students Reflect on Events of 9/11 at College of Law Memorial

On September 13, the College of Law hosted a memorial to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks. Speakers, including faculty, students, and alumni, offered brief reflections before a rapt, reverential audience. Their comments ranged from highly personal recollections about the events of 9/11 and its aftermath to reflections on how our daily lives have changed in the intervening years.

Clinical Professor Jim Holbrook introduced the speakers and offered eloquent opening comments (available in their entirety here): “Since that terrible day ten years ago, we willingly have accepted permanent, systemic, political and legal changes to our way of life. But we continue working through the stages of grief: from shock, to fear, to depression; from mere survival, to hope, to living purposefully again.”

“And at this time, of one thing I am certain,” he continued. “In our shared remembrance of those who died and in our rededication to serve those still lost and all the world as yet unborn, together we will find a meaning in 9/11.”


In a beautifully poetic address (available here in its entirety), Dean Hiram Chodosh summarized the ways that world (and our conception of the world) has changed:

 “We saw the volcano that erupted in the pillars we thought were indestructible:  

The abrupt halt of our office meetings,

the workouts frozen,

morning classes interrupted,

our minds stalled in shock,

 the volcanic lava flowing onto our suburban lawns,

the new crater in our green fields,

the violent trespass of our five high walls of national security,

 the incineration of our world,

the halt of our trade,

the collapse of our center.

Nine Eleven as 911.

 And, the intimate phone calls we’ve eavesdropped—

all loving and generous, no regrets, no anger, all courage, each looking forward, even through the terror of it all.

We want to run away to safe places and memories of BEFORE and yet

we also want to relive it all, recall it all,

stretch our veins to circulate our own blood through these stories,

to reach into the hot lava of THEN,

lava that can’t possibly cool from only a decade, and as it does,

leaves us with a new, uneven landscape upon which to regain our upset balance.” 



In addition to Chodosh and Holbrook, speakers included professors Emily Chiang, Dan Medwed and Teneille Brown; students Aria Najad and Justin Knell; and COL graduate Chris Wangsgard.