White clouds and blue skies were the backdrop for the College of Staten Island’s September 11th remembrance and reflection program at the World Trade Center Memorial this past Saturday.

The audience, comprised of students, faculty, staff, and alumni, gathered at the Memorial Garden, whose focal point is two steel girders from the towers for the brief and poignant program.

Dr. William Fritz, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs opened the ceremony with greetings from CSI President Tomás Morales, adding “This is a campus where students come to fulfill their dreams and to gain skills to complete their career goals; the irony is that we are here to remember and honor those whose careers and dreams were cut short.” Fritz noted that Staten Island and the CSI campus were particularly impacted, adding that “CSI lost more of its family than any other institution in higher education. Today we remember our alumni and members of our campus who names are engraved on the memorial before us.”

“The aftermath of the Sept. 11th tragedy remains close in hearts and our minds in a way that will never allow us to forget those who died in this tragedy in New York City, Pennsylvania, and Washington, DC,” said Dr. A. Ramona Brown, Vice President for Student Affairs. “People from all walks of life continue to have a special bond in this country, across the globe, and in Staten Island. Many of our residents from Staten Island and many CSI alumni are among those who perished and are among those we are here to remember and honor. We come together today for a very special program where our faculty, students, and staff will give special presentations to commemorate the Ninth Anniversary.”

A highlight of the program was a reading of “Rise,” a passionate original poem by CSI Professor Tyehimba Jess.

The morning included Stephanie Geraci performing on violin the second movement of Antonio Vivaldi’s Concerto in A minor, Op. 3, No. 6, and thoughts were shared by Robert Miller, student and member of the CSI Armed Forces Club.

The reading of alumni names was presented by CSI Alumni Board Members Lynen Libert ’06, and Robert Ferone ’86. Closing thoughts were given by Elaine R. Schenk, MId, Catholic Campus Minister.

Dr. Brown concluded the morning by announcing that the CSI Prayer and Meditation Room is open from 8:00am to 4:00pm for students, faculty and staff, and that the Counseling Center is open from 9:00am to 5:00pm for those wishing to speak with a counselor, either alone or with friends.