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ACU alumni and NYC residents relay Sept. 11 experiences; faculty, staff, students gather for remembrance

For immediate release
Sept. 11, 2002

Moody Coliseum on the Abilene Christian University campus overflowed with ACU students, faculty and staff, members of the Abilene fire and police departments and others in the community in a memorial service for the tragic events of terrorism that took place on Sept. 11, 2001. Other memorial activities continue throughout the day at ACU.

"Abilene Christian University often uses the phrase, 'Change the World,'" said Dr. Royce Money, ACU president. "Today, we could think about the tragic ways that a small group of people whose hearts were filled with hate changed the world in a negative way. I choose, instead, to think about the ways God worked through lives around the world to use those evil acts for good. I choose to remember that God is in control - every day, every hour, despite horrific evil and amazing acts of kindness. God is in control."

ACU graduates Brandon and Beth Baker of New York related their first-hand accounts of the World Trade Center disaster. Brandon was working in the New York Stock Exchange Building on Sept. 11, and Beth works as a social worker with the World Trade Center Relief Fund at the Manhattan Church of Christ. Brandon is also a 1994 graduate of Abilene High.

Brandon observed the first plane's crash into the north tower through his office window.

"I heard a low sound like a rocket, then a boom that shook my office. Through my window, I saw a fireball," he said. "As I continued to stare out the window, I saw the plume of smoke and thousands of pieces of paper flying in the air - pieces of paper that should have been on someone's desk, in someone's file cabinet. I felt like the ground had been pulled out from underneath me."

Ironically, on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, Beth sat in a Columbia University social work class on post-traumatic stress disorder. She now directs the relief efforts of the Manhattan Church of Christ.

"We provide physical, spiritual, emotional and psychological support to victims," she said. "Last year, the ACU community took up a collection and sent it to the Manhattan church. I want you to know that your money kept people from unemployment, bought meals for people and helped countless victims of the tragedy."

Throughout the day, the Living Room of the McGlothlin Campus Center remains open for prayer and reflection, with the names of all those who died in the attacks displayed on the wall.

On-campus counselors are available throughout the day to help those struggling with grief.

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If you are a member of the media who would like more information about this release, please contact Wendy Kilmer, university news coordinator.

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Last Update: December 17, 2007
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