On September 11, Clarkson University students, faculty and staff as well as members of the local community will again gather at the World Trade Center Memorial Sculpture on the Potsdam campus to honor the almost 3,000 people who perished in terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.

Among those who died in the World Trade Center attacks were four Clarkson alumni:  Mark Rasweiler '70, Richard O'Connor '75, Paul Hughes '85 and Peter Klein '87.

The World Trade Center Memorial was installed at Clarkson in the summer of 2005 and dedicated on October 13 of that year as a memorial to those four alumni. Each of their names is engraved above a light installed in the foundation of the structure. At night the lights shine up on the structural beams.

The steel in the memorial sculpture is from the World Trade Center and was obtained by Michael Bielawa, a 1985 Clarkson graduate who worked on the 9/11 clean-up efforts.The day of the World Trade Center collapse, Bielawa was called to Ground Zero to help supervise clean-up efforts. He worked on the site for three weeks, clearing debris and helping to recover survivors. After his first-hand experience with the September 11th disaster, he requested that the New York City Office of Emergency Management donate steel from the World Trade Center to Clarkson to be used for a memorial. 

On the 10th anniversary of the tragedy, Clarkson University President Tony Collins addressed those who had come to pay tribute; excerpts of his remarks follow. 

Looking back 10 years ago it is likely that you can't remember what books you read, what clothes you wore, or what vacation your family took...but we can all remember where we were and what we were doing when the news of a plane crashing into the Twin Towers began to spread on Sep 11, 2001. 

We can remember the panic and fear as we tried to reach friends and relatives that were anywhere near NYC or Washington.

We can remember the sadness, grief and pain we felt as we watched the graphic images on television and realized what was happening to the people in the Twin Towers.

We can remember the confusion we felt as well as the disbelief that something so horrific could happen in America….

It is 10 years later and when we look again at those heartrending images of that catastrophic day, it is hard to think that we could ever take them for granted. It is our duty to remember them today, in another decade and another decade.  But we must also understand that education holds the key to rid the world of prejudice, hatred and those feelings that fueled the 9/11 attack.