Hendrick’s Chapel at Syracuse University opened its doors on this 9/11 to offer a time of reflection and meditation about the tragic events at the World Trade Center, Washington D.C. and Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Current students may have some very impressionable memories, and Dean Brian Konkol and says 9/11 holds importance for people around the world in various ways.
“Many of our current students were brought up at a time in which this experience shaped their world views, shaped their understanding of the global community. So it does have a particular significance here and I think that calls us, again, to reflect, to pause and think about how the world has changed since that day. And how it is that each and every one of us has a part in shaping the world from this day forward for the better,” said Konkol.
He adds that September 11th was also very significant in the formation of his ministry because the event happened at the very beginning of his first year of seminary studies in St. Paul Minnesota.
“It was really the first couple of days of classes in my own training to be a minister," said Konkol. "In many ways, my own theological formation was shaped in the context of September 11th. And these deep questions around how to make peace? How do we counteract injustice without mirroring it? How do we express love that is big enough to care for both oppressed and oppressors?”
In how people responded to 9/11, the Dean found there was power in being together as a community in good times and bad, even if there were no solutions. Now as a resident of the Syracuse area, Konkol says his own personal significance of the event is deeper because he’s around people who have a direct experience of those events. He also adds that it’s important to look back in order to look forward in a similar way as the University annually remembers the PAN-AM Flight 103 tragedy.