Monday, September 11, 2017

Dear Howard University Community:
On behalf of the entire Howard University community, we salute and honor the courage of those who have committed their lives to serve and protect our campus, local, and global communities every day. On September 11, 2001, nearly 3,000 lives were lost in the towers of the World Trade Center. We promise never to forget the thousands of brave women and men first responders who ran towards danger to save others on that day. I am inspired by the survivors and families of 9/11 who, even in mourning, have exuded strength and remind us not only the importance of protecting our country but also of protecting our individual belief systems.
Although most of us remember that day vividly, many children will only have history books to teach them that 15 years ago terrorists crashed Flight 11 into floors 93 through 99 of the North Tower (1 WTC), beginning a series of tragic events that changed our lives and our nation forever. As millions watched the attacks in New York unfold, American Airlines Flight 77 circled over Washington, D.C. and slammed into the west side of the military headquarters, at the Pentagon. 125 military personnel and civilians, along with 64 persons aboard Flight 77 were killed in our beloved nation’s capital. September 11, 2001 was the deadliest day in history for New York City firefighters.
We must remember that freedom comes at a cost. A threat to one person’s freedom, be it civil, religious, economic or the like, is a threat to all of our freedoms. We will not survive or thrive as a nation if we return to unjust practices of arbitrarily deciding who does and does not deserve fundamental freedoms simply because of how they look, pray, or choose to love. As citizens, we must continue the fight to preserve freedom and progress, lest we regress to the darkness of our former society.
Each day we are presented with an opportunity to be sure that our daily conduct lives up to the legacy of the heroes we lost in 2001. We are privileged and thankful for the many sacrifices that were made, are being made, and will continue to be made for Howard University to exist another 150 years. We may not know exactly what the future holds, but we certainly know who holds the future.

Excellence in Truth and Service,
Wayne A. I. Frederick, M.D., MBA