LC Commemorates 9/11

Shlok Sharma '19, Web Director

September 11th, 2001 is a day that Americans will never forget. As the years go on, however, students seem to personally disconnect with the incident more and more. 

This past Tuesday, on September 11th, 2018, the Loomis Chaffee school had its annual 9/11 commemoration, and two faculty members shared their personal experiences with the devastation, allowing students to connect once again. 

The event consisted of an interview (moderated by Director of the Norton Family Center for the Common Good Mr. Eric LaForest) with psychology teacher Mrs. Mimi Donegan and Senior Associate Director of the Annual Fund Mr. Fred Kuo, and a Q&A afterwards, where students and faculty members could share thoughts on what they had just heard. 

The event was set to officially start at 7:00 PM, but by 6:45 the Chapel was nearly full with students and faculty, who were all curious to hear Mrs. Donegan and Mr. Kuo’s stories, their personal experiences on that day, and how they dealt with the tragedy years after. At 7:00 PM, the doors were shut, and the interview began. 

Though September 11th has been permanently embedded into America’s cultural subconscious, the current generation of students are becoming less and less connected to that fateful day. The class of 2019, the current seniors at Loomis Chaffee, were all likely born the year of the incident, and most other students’ lives never intersected with the tragedy. The ‘memories’ of this incident are usually replicated by news articles, and anecdotes.  

Mrs. Donegan talked about her loss that day, and how her family had changed. Different family members dealt with the tragedy differently, she recounted, and although they eventually reconciled, some refused to still talk about it. 

Mr. Kuo had been a new faculty member at Merrimack college, and he recalled that just after the incident had happened, a college student comforted him. Thankfully, among all the negativity that the incident had brought, this intra-personal comfort was shared by the both of them. 

The country was collectively grieving, and people were reaching out to each other, helping in any way they could. The tragedy affected millions of people, and a real, collective sympathy rose out of it. 

Mr. Kuo spoke about the importance of this, and that as more and more tragedies occur in the United States, more and more people become repeatedly desensitized, and lose a genuine connection with others affected. 

As the Q&A came to a close, one brave student stood up and thanked Mrs. Donegan and Mr. Kuo for sharing their stories, and being open with the Loomis Chaffee community. Many members of the audience murmured and nodded in agreement. 

Mr. LaForrest thanked both of them, and the event concluded.