Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXV, No. 36
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
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Many Area Events Commemorate 9/11

Anne Levin

A number of area institutions are paying tribute to those lost on September 11, 2001 with gatherings, exhibits, and quiet places set aside for reflection. From panel discussions to the laying of wreaths and the issuing of a commemorative CD, there are multiple opportunities for marking the anniversary of the terrorist attacks.

At Princeton University, a gathering of remembrance will take place Sunday, September 11, at 1:30 p.m. on Cannon Green on the front campus (Dillon Gym is the rain location). Speakers will include University President Shirley M. Tilghman; Kwame Anthony Appiah, the Laurance S. Rockefeller University Professor of Philosophy and the University Center for Human Values; former U.S. Senator and 1965 alumnus Bill Bradley; 2007 alumna Chloe Wohlforth, daughter of alumnus and 9/11 victim Martin Wohlforth ’76; and Princeton senior Charles Metzger. The University Chapel will host the Princeton Clergy Association’s interfaith service at 7 p.m., bringing together many local congregations and religious societies.

On Saturday and Sunday, September 10 and 11 from noon to 4 p.m., Morven Museum and Garden will waive its admission fee as it marks the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Princeton Borough Mayor Mildred Trotman will be on hand Sunday to offer her thoughts on the milestone. On both days, visitors are encouraged to write their own thoughts on Morven’s memory board and become a part of the museum’s permanent collection. The backdrop to the observances is the current exhibition “Stars and Stripes: Fabric of the American Spirit.”

As part of the community-wide initiative “Memory and the Work of Art,” the Arts Council of Princeton will open an exhibit on Thursday, September 8 of images by photographer Jay Plett. “Moment: Memory” evokes the atmosphere on the streets of Manhattan in the weeks after September 11, when the city was filled with American flags. At the Princeton University Art Museum, “The Life and Death of Buildings,” running through November 6; and “Cartographies of Time,” through September 18, each explore themes related to 9/11.

Another show of photography is on view throughout September in the lobby of West Windsor Township’s Municipal Building. Former Township resident Danny Sze’s “Images of Courage,” which he donated to the Township, focus on Ground Zero. The words to the poem “We Shall Never Forget” by Alan W. Jankowski accompany the display. The Municipal Building is at 271 Clarksville Road in West Windsor.

The annual ceremony held by West Windsor Township commemorating the tragedy will take place on Sunday, September 11, at the Memorial Twin Ponds at Ronald Rogers Arboretum, starting at 6 p.m. A steel beam from Ground Zero has been installed at the arboretum. The one-hour gathering will include remarks from various faith communities as well as musical performances from Township youth and other musicians. The event will be held rain or shine.

Mercer County Community College will observe the anniversary of the attacks at a remembrance ceremony on Friday, September 9, starting at 11 a.m. The gathering will take place in the Memorial Garden outside the Student Center on the West Windsor campus at 1200 Old Trenton Road. County officials and college administrators are among those who will participate.

The special guest speaker is Dave Smolka, Chief of the Hamilton Fire Company, a Career Captain with the Trenton Fire Department, and a fire instructor at Mercer County Fire Academy. Mr. Smolka was at Ground Zero as a member of the New Jersey State Police Urban Search and Rescue Team — Task Force 1. The event will include the laying of a memorial wreath. A fragment of a steel beam from the World Trade Center towers, donated to the college by the New Jersey State Museum, will be on display.

Other county events include a memorial ceremony on Sunday, September 11, at Mercer County Park, near the marina, at 1 p.m. A 9/11 memorial display will be unveiled at the State House Rotunda in Trenton, open to the public from 2 to 5 p.m. On Monday, September 12 at noon, Mercer County Community College will present a panel discussion, “Unity Through Diversity,” at Kelsey Theatre. The public is invited to participate in the discussion, which will include local academic, religious, and policy leaders. A second discussion is Wednesday, September 14 at 6:30 p.m. in Kerney Hall, North Broad and Academy streets in Trenton.

An Afternoon of Reflection is planned for the steps of the New Jersey Statehouse on Sunday, September 11 from 2:30 to 4 p.m. by the United Mercer Interfaith Organization. The event is geared to people of all faiths and will begin with prayers led by Christian, Jewish, and Muslim leaders. The program continues in the New Jersey State Museum auditorium, with brief reflections by children born in September 2001 sharing their hopes for the future.

“What UMIO plans to offer is a sacred pause — a break from the demands of our daily lives in order to reflect deeply, together, on where we’ve just come from and where to go from here,” said Rabbi Donna Kirshbaum of Congregation String of Pearls in a prepared statement. “We like to sum up our intentions with the words ‘one nation, many faiths, with liberty and justice for all.’”

On Tuesday, September 6, the Naxos of America label released the CD James Whitbourn: Living Voices featuring the Westminster Williamson Voices from Westminster Choir College of Rider University. This recording of works by composer James Whitbourn is comprised of several world premieres including the Requiem canticorum and Living Voices, a work to commemorate those lost on 9/11. Westminster Williamson Voices is a chamber choir led by choral conductor James Jordan.

Living Voices was first commissioned by the British Broadcasting Company as part of a broadcast from London’s Westminster Abbey of a service held after the attacks. The work was first performed live in a concert in New York on the first anniversary of 9/11.

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