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Hundreds of students, faculty, and staff gathered at noon today in Colton Chapel to observe the National Day of Prayer and Remembrance for the Victims of the Terrorist Attacks in accordance with the proclamation by President George W. Bush.

“We’re joining together in opening our hearts and asking you to join us in prayer,” said Gary Miller, college chaplain. He noted that other opportunities for prayer and reflection will be available both at off-campus houses of worship and regularly scheduled weekly worship on campus: the Sabbath service 4:30 p.m. today in Hogg Hall, the 11:30 a.m. Sunday Catholic mass in Colton Chapel, and the 12:30 p.m. Sunday Protestant service at Interfaith Chapel.

Robert Weiner, Jewish chaplain and Thomas Roy and Lura Forrest Jones Professor of History, led the assembly in repeating a refrain, “We will remember them,” throughout a poem about when the victims of Tuesday’s attacks would be brought to mind. “In the beginning of the year and when it ends, we will remember them,” he said. “When we are weary and in need of strength, we will remember them For as long as we live, they too shall live, for now and forevermore, they are a part of us.”

The Rev. Charles Norman, Catholic chaplain, recounted a phone conversation with a man whose son was in an airliner that struck one of the World Trade Center Towers.

“Despite our anguish, pain and hurt, we can celebrate the wonderful people who died,” he said, mentioning the victims who called loved ones before dying. “The glory of God is the human being fully alive.”

People prayed silently for a number of concerns suggested by Miller, who followed each time of quiet prayer with his own prayer. The gathering prayed for eight individual areas: the victims who died; those who lost loved ones or are awaiting word on the status of loved ones; medical personnel and healing of the injured; relief workers; government officials; religious understanding; the nations of the world; and peace.

The service concluded with the singing of “Dona Nobis Pachem” (“Give Us Peace”).

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