Centre community pays tribute to the Sept. 11 attacks through A Service of Remembrance
As the tenth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks draws near, Americans prepare to memorialize the tragedy and remember the victims. For its part, Centre College will host “A Service of Remembrance in Word and Song” at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 11, in Newlin Hall to pay tribute to the men and women lost on that tragic day.
The service came about through the efforts of Dr. Barbara Hall, H.W. Stodghill Jr. and Adele H. Stodghill Professor of Music at Centre, and others in the community.
“I worked with two other people — Jeff Jones, Centre College organist, and Jay Adkins, a pastor in Danville who has been serving as head of a loose consortium of pastors — to brainstorm about what we might do. And thus, ‘A Service of Remembrance in Word and Song’ was developed,” she says.
The Service of Remembrance will present readings and music from a variety of sources, and groups from across the community will participate — including children who weren’t even alive when the attacks happened in 2001.
“We will have readings representing Christian, Jewish and Islamic traditions. We will have singers ranging in age from eight years to over 80 years old,” Hall says. “We will have students from Centre, from Boyle County High School, from the Danville Children’s Choir and from a number of churches in the area.”
Hall will also direct the Centre Singers as they perform a movement from Mozart’s Requiem during the event.
“This piece was done by choirs all across the country back in the early 1960s as a memorial to John F. Kennedy, so it has transcended eras and nations as a work of art appropriate to great loss,” Hall says. “I thought that doing a memorial concert would be meaningful for this community, especially for students at Centre, who were fairly young at the time of the tragedy of 9/11.”
One of those students is Nathan Adams ’15 who will be singing during the service and who was in elementary school when the attacks took place a decade ago.
“I think I was in the third grade when it happened. They didn’t tell us about it at school, but when I got home, my mom was sitting on the couch crying, watching the replay of the towers going down,” Adams says. “It really scared me.”
Adams has appreciated the opportunity to pay tribute to the victims of the attacks through song.
“Being a part of this memorial means a lot to me because I get to help others through my voice, and not just remember that day and those who died, but embrace how it has changed us and how it has brought America together,” he says.
Hall and Adams both hope that the Service of Remembrance will honor those lost on Sept. 11 by reminding people of the beauty of humanity.
“It wasn’t the horror of the terrorist acts that shaped who I am today,” says Adams. “It was the firemen, the volunteers and the sight of people coming together in the time of need that affected me, and still moves me to this day. It’s made me realize the importance of unification and the power we all have when we put our differences aside and stand as one. I hope people take away a sense of peace from the concert.”
“It seems to me, and my hope is that others will share my concept, that a time of listening to sacred words, to music that celebrates humanity and human life, and to joining our voices together raises the human spirit and honors the sacrifices made by those who lost their lives and honors those who live with the pain of loss or the knowledge of the fragility of life,” Hall says.