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9/11 @ 20

DATE: Thursday, September 9, 2021

A letter to the HCC community from President Christina Royal

Dear HCC Community,

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the U.S. Twenty years ago, HCC students, faculty and staff were alerted to the tragic events unfolding in New York City (NYC) and later in Washington, D.C., and watched as terror and violence changed the course of history. I was living in New York at the time, about an hour north of NYC, and recall when my phone started ringing incessantly. We watched the TV footage in horror and disbelief as it looped over and over; two planes crashing into the World Trade Center, another into the Pentagon, and another in a field in Pennsylvania. After checking on family and friends living in NYC, I struggled to process the attack on our nation as well as a city transformed by the Twin Towers, two iconic representations of the financial district, now reduced to smoking debris and rubble. 

Our world changed dramatically in that moment, and the events of the day, as well as the cascade of actions and reactions that followed, continue to reverberate in the U.S. and abroad. Over the years, HCC has gathered to both reflect on the events of September 11 and to nurture the practice of kindness and compassion in our community. Kindness matters – it is one of HCC's core values, and I believe it is fundamental to building the world we want for ourselves and our friends, families and colleagues. 

During this week of reflection, we invite all members of our community to join us for any or all of the following events coordinated by Student Engagement: 

  • Month of September: Contributions of change will be collected for in boxes located in the Campus Center dining services area. 
  • September 7–17, Student Engagement (CC 227), M–F, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.: Visit our Memorial Table with photos, memories, ribbons, and candles and participate in our Kindness Rocks project. Paint a rock with a positive saying and place it around campus, and pledge to perform an act of kindness in September. 
  • October 1 at 12 noon, CC 227: Lourdes Lebron (HCC alumna) will talk about her 20 years of service to 9/11 memorials in honor of her sister at a reception to thank those who contributed change to during the month of September.

As our year gets underway, may we all strive to better understand and connect with those around us. Thank you for all you do to strengthen our HCC community.




Christina Royal
Holyoke Community College

PHOTO: A memorial table set up in the HCC Campus Center in recognition of the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.