A Decade of War
There are certain days that just never leave you, days whose minutes and moments you carry forward for the rest of your life. Pearl Harbor. Columbine. Dealey Plaza.
Sept. 11, 2001, was one of those days. It was, arguably, the single most defining day of the current generation. The day that changed the world. A lunatic with a lot of money, some leadership skills and a misguided understanding of Islam set forth a series of terrorist acts that stripped away whatever innocence was left in America and radically altered how we operate in the world.
It’s now been 10 years since that day and our subsequent retaliation, which we’ve come to know as the War on Terror. Even with the recent pullout of troops, it has become the longest war this country has ever known, and its impact has touched everyone and everything in some way, whether great or small.
Xavier is no exception.
On Sept. 12, 2001, previously inconspicuous ROTC students walking into the dining hall were greeted with applause. Hundreds of pairs of military boots placed on the academic mall as a means of quietly protesting for peace brought forth both cries of agony and cries of anger. The admission recruitment efforts typically reserved for scholars and athletes were expanded to include the influx of battle-worn soldiers returning home and seeking an education.
The longterm impact on Xavier may be hard to quantify. That may take a herd of historians and several more decades—if it’s something that can ever be known. But with the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11 upon us, there’s little doubt: The war has left its mark on Xavier. We offer a look at how from four perspectives.
• The Peacenik
• The Soldier
• The Veteran
• The Student
• Our Lady: Updating the campus shrine that remembers alumni killed in war
• A Look Back: Remembering Sept. 11, 2001, on campus
• Essays: Recalling Sept. 11
• Rabbi Abie Ingber, founding director of the Office of Interfaith Community Engagement
• James Buchanan, director for the Brueggeman Center for Dialogue
• Those Who Died: Remembering the lives of three Xavier alumni killed in Iraq and Afghanistan
• Those Still Serving: Letters from the frontline
• A House Divided: Samantha Groark reflects on her belief in peace and her father's military service