Flames: Reflecting on Sept. 11th

On Monday, Sept. 11, we commemorated the 16th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States.

Each year on this day, we are reminded of how unimaginable evil practically brought our nation to its knees — but we are also reminded of how exceptional strength brought us together and saw us through.

Through the darkness we found the light; we found ourselves being able to trust again, and we found ourselves being able to love again.

And as we welcome each other back to school, there is no better time than the present to remind each other of what it means to open ourselves up to one another.

Mary Kate McErlean, who lost her father in the attacks when she was just eight years old, said, “… If you owe someone an apology, tell them you are sorry today. If someone asks for your forgiveness, forgive them. Start being the person you always wanted to be today and don’t waste your time worrying about tomorrow.”

If you haven’t done this already, now is the time to start.

Soon, the University will celebrate its 23rd annual Founder’s Week, with the theme of “Be Vincentian: Welcome the Stranger.”

During this week several events will be held on campus to celebrate, concluding with University Service Day on Sept. 23.

We hope you’ll all take the week’s events as a reminder that we can all stand to be a little kinder, a little more understanding, a little more helpful, and a little more loving.

Since our last issue of the spring semester and through the summer, the political climate, specifically, has continued to create tension among everyday people.

It’s proof of how easy it is for us to lose sight of the bigger picture at times. And it’s natural; we’re only human. But times like these serve as a reminder for us to try just a little harder. We know it’s in our hearts.

As you begin the new school year, remember Mary Kate McErlean’s words.

It’s a well-known saying that tomorrow isn’t promised, and it couldn’t be more true.

Regardless of who you are, or what you believe in, there’s no better time than now to open your heart and to open your arms to others.

Don’t hesitate to help someone out. Don’t think twice about making a new friend.

And don’t let your pride get in the way when it comes to old friends.

We at the Torch welcome you all back for another wonderful school year at St. John’s. Let’s start strong, with love in our hearts and our minds.