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September 21, 2001
Volume 39, No. 3

features

A campus responds
Work of IWP writers likely to reflect U.S. tragedies, yet program, activities continue throughout year
New Career Center to see students from first year through to first job
InSite: A clickable clinic
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A campus responds

Photo by Kirk Murray.

It was a helpless feeling as Iowans watched the horrors of September 11 on television. For those in New York and Washington who survived the attacks, at least they could take action: join the rescue operation, staff the hospitals, volunteer to help. But what could Iowans do? What could we give from 1,000 miles away to relieve the suffering?

We gave prayers. On September 14, in response to President Bush’s call for a national day of prayer and remembrance, the University held a noon vigil in the IMU Main Lounge (see photo top right). Approximately 1,000 members of the campus community jammed the room, while another 2,000 joined by watching and listening on video monitors stationed throughout the IMU. Recorded video streams of the service are available on the web at www.its.uiowa.edu/its/at/remembrance.

We gave support. The flag that hung from Pappajohn Business Building (below right) was lent by an anonymous employee of the Tippie College of Business who brought it back from Yemen, where it had flown at the U.S. embassy in 1990.

We gave blood. The day of the attack, the DeGowin Blood Center collected 162 units of blood. When the line became too long, the center collected an additional 310 pledges to give blood at a later time. Ironically, the blood collected here is only licensed for use within University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Grimly, the number of victims who lived long enough to need blood has been small. However, the urge to give blood is never wasted. There has been a nationwide shortage of blood in recent times, and the tragic events of September 11 have alerted donors to an ongoing need that is now being met. The center reports that its appointment schedule to donate blood is booked solidly until October 1.

And on this campus of writers, we gave words. Marvin Bell’s poem, reprinted below, was written the day of the attack.

Article by Sam Samuels

   


Sounds of the Resurrected Dead Man's Footsteps

The dead man must deal with life.

If he became abstract (dead), if he became ideal (dead), now he must bathe in the chalky light that is debris.

He must slosh through the blood that is the residue of height.

Where people jumped, their last act of will, choosing not to be smoke, there the bodies linger and soak in.

Where the towers crumpled, there he must forge a testimonial.

What shall it say to the future about the past?

It must begin in the safety of expectations, in the routine alarm and morning coffee.

It must carry the dead through tubes and over bridges onto the Island.

It must sing with the draft of the ferry and the hum of the tires.

It must ride the subway with the heroes of paychecks.

This, then, it must do lest we forget the joy of waking.

And what of the thousands?

What of the firemen who went inside for the last time, the police who stood in the way, the pilots and crews forced to lift their hand against their neighbor?

The killers in their certainty and the tenets of which they were certain, what of them?

Can we stomach the worst of man and go on?

Don’t we live on it, nature that rains good and evil, haven’t we brought in the crops in bad years and good?

Now I am the dead, all the dead, and you and you shall be all of them also.

We became them by absorption.

We must deal with life which is also death.

Love is not pretty.

–by Marvin Bell

   
     
   
  Photo by Kirk Murray.

 


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