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Alumni react to the attacks:
Read their first-person accounts


Dawn Goodlove

A student writes thoughts on a bulletin board set up on the Orange Carpet soon after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

In the days after the terrorist attacks, the campus community searched for ways to contribute to the nation’s recovery. In just seven days, $2,160 had been collected for Red Cross disaster relief. Volunteer Services assistant Jennifer Potter ’01 staffed a table in The Commons. “People began taking the money in their bags and wallets and putting it in our jar. As people walked up to put money in the jar, many were silent or sobbing or shaking or just glazed over,” she said. “I saw people, as the week progressed, take money out of the ATM machine, take all the money out of their wallets, and even take out their checkbooks to contribute. For many of these folks, money is not so easy to give away, but they certainly didn’t hesitate.”

Campus blood drives were scheduled—but not until December and
March, to accommodate future needs, Red Cross officials warned. Students signed up to mentor children; Cornell has a strong mentoring focus that includes the Lunch Buddies program with Mount Vernon gradeschoolers, and a record 147 students are now mentoring in the Mount Vernon schools, an increase of 63 percent over last year.

Chiaki Takita and Junko Nakata, seniors from Japan, inspect origami cranes they helped to make.

Cornell’s international students, though small in number (33), madesignificant contributions to the healing process, placing a wreath at the Kiosk and teaching their American peers the traditional Japanese art of origami. One thousand paper cranes—the symbol of longevity, peace, and hope, according to Japanese folklore—made by Cornell volunteers, area church congregations, and Mount Vernon schoolchildren will be delivered to alumni and friends directly affected, newborns of Cornell friends to wish them hope and peace, and children who are trying to understand.

“I think the reason that so many people are so eager to make the cranes is because it makes us feel like we are doing something,” said Sarah Matchen, a sophomore from Wilmette, Ill.


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