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Friday, September 11, 2015

September 11th-remembering

This beautiful tall oak tree was planted in memory of Richard Madden - Denison Class of 1988 and the other victims of the September 11, 2001. Rich was the one alumnus (I believe we know) who died in the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.  Rich was a good guy I knew at Denison.  I can see his happy smile. I did  not know him well but he was friends with my friends. He was my brother's fraternity brother. He is missed.  I remember the honor of meeting his daughter and wife when this tree was dedicated- beautiful people.  I am so pleased to see this tree- put here by alums and friends outside of the Kappa Sigma fraternity house on the way to the athletics area.  Alums and friends made a difference with their gift and efforts for this memorial.  A visiting fraternity brother of Rich's reinded me of this tree- he visits and cares when he is in town. An alumni council member started the effort to make this tree a reality.  I'm so grateful today I could visit this tree and can share it with others.

I remember that day like so many of us do- I know exactly where I was- Colwell House working at Denison. When I heard the news I thought it was an accident, a small plane had hit a sky scrapper. It certainly never crossed my mind that people would use people and a plane for such evil, such destruction on exponential levels.  What a sad sad day. What a turning point. But also what a connecting day.  A friend was caught off guard by all the flags and care even in Ohio as we supported those so close with such loss. As Clare engages in her "global studies" as she starts high school- terrorism is a key component of what she is learning.  I am fortunate not have known many that died, but I know too many that lost loved ones that day.  Today we remember.

Education is the key to making the world a better place. But it isnt' just education- it is sharing what we learn- being in relationship.  I'm grateful to be back at Denison on September 11, 2015.  Today I had lunch with two students. They went with me and were appreciative to know about Rich Madden and this tree. The young man in the picture is a Kappa Sig loving his experience and the friendships he has here at Denison. Rich was a happy KZ and I believe is glad to know about the friendships being made today on campus.  Denison is about relationships- the relationships matter, sustain and continue forever. We won't forget September 11th, those that died that day, the heroes and service, those that remember and our Denisonian, Rich Madden '88.

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