Melissa Harrington-Hughes ’92 loved to travel. Her father, Robert Harrington, recalls her decision to remain abroad after studying in Dickinson’s Bologna program her junior year. She traveled on to Paris and then the Riviera. When he tried to reach her in May to wish her a happy birthday, Harrington learned she had gone to Africa.
On Sept 11, 2001, Harrington-Hughes was in New York for a conference. She had traveled from her home in San Francisco, where she had worked as director of business development for the Slam Dunk Networks. Harrington-Hughes was in the World Trade Center at 8:46 a.m. when the plane hit. She was able to call her father and speak to him and she left a message for her husband Sean, who was still asleep. Harrington-Hughes didn’t survive the tower collapse.
Her story, along with several others will be featured in the two-hour documentary Voices from Inside the Towers by The History Channel on Saturday, Sept. 10, at 9 p.m. (EDT). Using audio recordings and interviews from people inside the buildings—some of whom perished and some who survived—combined with those of family, friends and the 911 dispatchers they called, The History Channel will tell some never-before-heard stories of some extraordinary people.
Nearly 3,000 people lost their lives in the 9/11 terrorists attacks, including Alan Merdinger, father of Melissa Merdinger ’03. As the nation pauses to remember and reflect, so too will members of the Dickinson community.
“On Sept. 11 we will pause to remember lives lost, lives forever changed and the close of our first decade in a post-9/11 world,” said President William G. Durden ’71. “Dickinsonians and the world collectively will recall 9/11. Naturally, we will revisit where we were that day and as we do, let’s also challenge ourselves to create a new memory and new resolution—to honor 9/11 daily in perpetuity.”
The college community will mark the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks with a series of cultural,commemorative andeducational events.
Patriots’ Day Ceremony
The annual memorial is organized by the Dickinson's Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC), to honor those who lost their lives on 9/11. The ceremony, which is open to everyone, includes the playing of taps as the ROTC color guard lowers the flag to half-staff, a wreath laying by President Durden and the tolling of the Denny Hall bell.
Friday, Sept. 9 at 8 a.m.
The John Dickinson Campus flagpole, West High Street between West and College streets
9/11–A Roving Memorial
Assistant Professor of Dance Sarah Skaggs lived just a few blocks from the World Trade Center and she watched the attacks unfold on 9/11. She was inspired to respond to the events through art and dance. 9/11 – A Roving Memorial, is an 11-minute dance tribute to victims and families, organized and choreographed by Skaggs, a six-time recepient of National Endowment for the Arts fellowships. The dance includes silent walking movements and rising and falling movements to the sounds of church bells and will be performed by Skaggs in New York City and other dancers in Washington, D.C., Shanksville, Pa., and on the Dickinson campus. Read about the 9/11–A Roving Memorial project in The Washington Post.
Members of Dickinson’s Dance Theatre Group, under the direction Skaggs, will perform 9/11–A Roving Memorial at two locations:
Dickinson performance: Saturday, Sept. 10, Sunday, Sept. 11 and Monday, Sept. 12 at noon
Britton Plaza, West High Street, between College and Cherry streets
Flight 93 Memorial Commemorative Services: Sunday, Sept. 11 at 3:20 p.m.
Arrival Court, Shanksville, Pa.
The Twilight War
Philip Zelikow, former executive director of the 9/11 Commission, will take stock of 10 years of conflict since the Sept. 11 attacks during his lecture, The Twilight War. Zelikow will reflect on the commission’s work and offer an assessment of the ongoing fights in Afghanistan, Pakistan and the rest of the Arab and Muslim world. He also will review what has gone wrong and right in the changing organization of American government to deal with dangers like terrorism.
The event will begin with a 9/11 memorial service, followed by the lecture, book signing and reception. The book, The 9/11 Commission Report: The Attack From Planning to Aftermath will be available for purchase. The event is sponsored by The Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues.
Tuesday, Sept. 13 at 7 p.m.
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium (ATS), West Louther Street between College and Cherry streets