A campus responds
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 Bushs 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 Bells poem, reprinted below, was written the day of the attack.
by Sam Samuels