On Monday, September 12, the Xavier community gathered to remember the 10 alumni—John Ryan ’74†, Edmund McNally ’78†, Christopher Hanley ’84†, Michael Andrews ’85†, John Farrell ’87†, Jimmy Riches ’89†, Matthew Burke ’91†, Sean Lugano ’91†, James Coyle ’93†, and Charles Heeran ’96†—and countless family members and friends we lost in the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center 21 years ago.
Every year since that cloudless September day in 2001, the school community has taken time to remember their legacy and to celebrate their lives.
Monday morning saw students, faculty, and staff gather in the Student Chapel to remember those lost and to celebrate God’s friendship that has sustained them over the last 21 years.
The entirety of Xavier’s student body was not born in 2001. Although many of them are aware of the horrors of September 11, the Mass served as a reminder of not only the fellowship and brotherhood of the Xavier community but also as a reminder to never forget this day, even as the years go by.
“Our Jewish brothers and sisters, when speaking of the dead, often use the phrase, ‘May their memory be a blessing,’” reflected President Jack Raslowsky. “The phrase refers to the blessing that the person leaves behind from their goodness, their example, their witness, their inspiration. It is not about the past but a blessing in the here and now that carries us into the future. A future where blessings continue to abound. I have developed a great affection for the phrase and for all it implies. The memory of those we lost on 9/11, the Sons of Xavier—John, Edmund, Christopher, Michael, John, James, Matthew, Sean, James, and Charles—and the many family members and friends are indeed a blessing. They were a blessing in life and they continue to be a blessing as they live now in the fullness of God. They are a blessing that sustains our work and propels us forward. May our work always honor their memory.”