If you’re a first-year student at IU this fall, you probably weren’t yet born that tragic Tuesday morning twenty years ago. Some current IU students were toddlers at the time. But the legacy of those devastating attacks altered the world you have grown up in — from airport security measures to our nation’s involvement in the country’s longest-ever war in Afghanistan to new international pressures. In one way, 9/11 and this weekend’s 20th anniversary of it serve to bookend your childhood. At the same time, Saturday’s commemoration can offer an opportunity for profound reflection on the path ahead.
At public events around the country, and here in Bloomington at Ivy Tech’s 9/11 Memorial, we will pay our respects to the firefighters and police officers who died in the line of duty and honor all who perished that grim day. We will salute our local public safety officials for their unwavering dedication to our community. And we will affirm Bloomington’s identity as an incubator of human rights and multiculturalism, a good global citizen whose endeavors in education, business, the arts and even sports have forged ties around the world. Growing up after 9/11 may have given you a heightened level of global awareness. In the 20 years since, still other emergencies of global proportions have reminded us how closely we are all connected — whether climate change, the refugee crisis or the COVID-19 pandemic. As you embark on your education at this world-class university, you’re equipping yourself to improve this increasingly interconnected world. Whether your field is epidemiology, environmental management, political science, business, cultural studies or any number of other disciplines, you can play a key role in rebuilding our post-9/11, post-pandemic, climate-changing world — and mitigating against future crises. Living in Bloomington will give you many more opportunities to develop skills you’ll need in any field you choose. Get to know your international neighbors, intern at one of our community’s many nonprofit agencies or multinational corporations or get involved with city government — learn how at www.bloomington.in.gov.
We invite you to join many across the community this Saturday at 9 a.m. for Bloomington’s 9/11 remembrance ceremony, hosted by Ivy Tech Community College in partnership with the City of Bloomington and Bloomington Metropolitan Fire Fighters Union Local 586. The event will be held entirely outdoors at Ivy Tech, 200 Daniels Way. You may join in the event virtually via live stream at the city’s Facebook page at facebook.com/citybloomington.
—John Hamilton, Mayor of Bloomington