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Reflecting on terror a year after Sept. 11 attacks

As the nation gears up to commerate the first anniversary of the Sept.11 attacks, the Mills community’s focus turns on how to best mourn the lives that were lost and ways to continue learning and growing from 9-11.

A native of New York, junior Leah Mullen plans to commerate Sept.11 by sending a framed picture of a friend she lost in the attacks to his parents in New York.

“I will also take part of that day to have some silence and reflect,” she adds.

Mullen who grew up a 10 minute walking distance from ground zero not only lost a friend but also saw her childhood neighborhood change over night.

“The one stable thing in my life that I thought I could always turned to changed over night,” Mullen said.

Junior Charity Toole, who was actually in New York and on her way to the airport the day of the attacks, has another plan for commerating Sept. 11.

“My memorial is my action,” Toole said. “We are the generation to really stand up. I believe women’s voices in this particular kind of a matter are essential.”

For many students the implications of Sept. 11 remain a topic of discussion as they struggle to define the aftermath of the attacks. Additionally, the effects of the attacks have left some students apprehensive towards the government, some are even more fearful today than on the day of the actual attacks.

“Since 9-11 I have become more scared, more than I was on the actual day,” Ludder said. “I’m more fearful of the government and feel maybe I should move out of the country.”

This collective fear has been attributed to the decline of civil liberties, the war and lack of progress in foreign relations leading to distrust of the government. Some students fear another attack.

“I think another attack is still possible,” Mullen said. “There is enough hostility and global issues that make it very possible.”

Student sentiments also expressed a sense of heightened awareness since the attacks and the importance of a global community to start the healing process.

“People need to think of themselves as more connected to other people living in other countries and decide that our common human connection to other people on the planet really means more than our connection to patriotism,” Ludder said.

According to Toole, for women in the Mills community, growth and healing can be fostered by being more vocal about the issues at hand and by challenging the patriarchal voice.

For Interim Chapel, Maud Steyart who is planning an observance of the World Trade attacks on Sept 11, the key to growth after an event of this magnitude is by staying involved.

“The more we can stay engaged, the more we can create an effective set of responses, personally and nationally,” Steyart said. “Real power, real peace, requires thoughtful and patient engagement.”