Dear Members of the SUNY Oswego Community-

Today, we pause to honor the lives of our fellow citizens who perished because of the terrorist attacks on our nation’s soil 22 years ago. Nearly 3,000 lives gone in a single day in the worst terrorist attacks on our nation. Twelve SUNY Oswego alumni lost their lives on that tragic day. 

That cowardly act redefined the way we live our lives in the United States and around the globe. We created the Department of Homeland Security. We passed the Patriot Act. We implemented a domestic surveillance program and ensured the restructuring of the infrastructure for security at air, land, and seaports domestically and internationally. We launched the war in Afghanistan to capture or kill Osama Bin Laden, the mastermind of the terrorist attacks, who had used the country as his base. 

The victims of that heinous crime were those who lost their lives at the Twin Towers in New York, at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C, and in rural Pennsylvania, near the tiny town of Shanksville where the heroic actions of those on board Flight 93 may have saved thousands of other lives, while they lost their lives in the struggles with the hijackers. 

The victims of 9/11 also include the parents and families of the nearly 3,000 people, citizens of many faiths from more than 80 countries. Their brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles, sons, daughters, and friends are all victims of 9/11. The ordinary citizens who displayed extraordinary courage on that tragic day to save lives--first responders, fire fighters, law enforcement officers, and volunteers—were, and continue to be, victims of 9/11. 

The victims of 9/11 are all of us, citizens from around the globe, who witnessed that evil day, as well as those who did not witness it, as all of our lives and our way of life remain forever changed because of that cowardly act. 

Our University Police Department will participate in the City of Oswego’s Silent Procession and Remembrance Ceremony this morning. The campus will ring the carillon bells 22 times at 8:46 a.m., 9:03 a.m., 9:37 a.m. and 10:03 a.m., to mark the exact times of the plane crashes at the North and South Towers of the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and Shanksville, PA. Flags on campus will be lowered to half-staff in recognition of Patriot Day. The 9/11 Memorial Garden (located on campus along the Glimmerglass Lagoon pathway) is dedicated to remembering those alumni lost 22 years ago:

  • James Potorti ‘72
  • Wendy Morris Faulkner ‘74
  • Leo Roberts ‘79
  • Michael O’Brien ‘81
  • Michael Collins ‘84
  • Richard Caproni ‘89
  • Michael Hannan ‘89
  • Michael Cawley ‘91
  • Melissa Renee Vincent ‘94
  • Scott Bart ‘95
  • James Woods ‘97
  • Michelle Bratton ‘00

As we pause today to honor the lives of our fellow citizens and alumni who perished, let us also remember the full range of the victims of that despicable act. 9/11 brought tears and sorrow to our hearts, pulled our nation together, and the world closer to the United States.

America remains home to millions of people from many faiths and national origins because we represent humanity’s permanent hope. That hope is reflected in our values for freedom, opportunity, and the rule of law. Let us remember that those who died or were maimed on 9/11 gave of themselves defending those fundamental values. Confronting all threats to those values must remain the priority of each one of us.

Peter O. Nwosu, Ph.D.