Saint Anselm College Commemorates the 20th Anniversary of September 11

September 9, 2021

By Anna Brennan-Curry

On Fri., Sept. 10, 2021, Saint Anselm College observed the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on September 11 with a Mass and a memorial service. These events honored the memory of those who lost their lives and honored the men and women who responded to assist those in need with courage and valor.

Very Rev. Jonathan De Felice, O.S.B., President Emeritus of Saint Anselm College, celebrated Mass at 8:30 a.m. in the Abbey Church. During his homily Fr. Jonathan recalled the campus gathering in the Abbey Church at noon on Sept. 11, 2001.

“As a campus community, we gathered to stand with one another in shock and sorrow for what had happened in our country that morning,” shared Fr. Jonathan. “To stand with one another on the side of our Christian faith which impels us to stand with one another on the side of peace and non-violence in our world.”

In the afternoon, the college hosted a memorial service at the Veterans Memorial on the college quad. During the ceremony, the college honored the four members of the Anselmian community who lost their lives on September 11, including two alumni - Richard Keane ’69 and Stephen Roach ’86. 

They also remembered Marine Captain Kyle Van De Giesen ’02, who joined the Marine Corps partially in response to the attacks on 9/11. Captain Van De Giesen died in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan.

“As we remember these individuals and all who lost their lives on September 11, 2001 we are also called to honor our Anselmian first-responders, veterans, and those currently serving in the military,” said James Flanagan P’23, senior vice president. “They embody our community’s value of service, solidarity, selflessness, and the courage to do what is right.”

Ms. Lillian Strang ’22 sang the national anthem, and Dr. Joseph A. Favazza, president of Saint Anselm College, provided reflections on the day, talking about memory.

“We must “not forget” but we do not have to remember the loss, the grief and the pain in a way that is destructive to us or to our world,” reflected Dr. Favazza. “We pray for a healing of memories. It is the only way forward, the only way that those who committed these terrible acts no longer have any power over us. Let’s not forget, let’s not have amnesia, but instead, let’s also remember in a new way, a way that inspires us to healing, forgiveness, and love.”

After this reflection, Kevin Ryan ’94 shared the story of his cousin, Orio Palmer, of the New York Fire Department. Palmer one of the first responders to the scene, was instrumental in rescue efforts in the North and South Tower. He lost his life when the South Tower collapsed.

Ryan concluded his story with one of Palmer’s favorite sayings, “As we discussed the legacy of Orio and so many others lost that day, I was reminded, we all must live while we are alive.”

Richard “Rit” Flandreau ’22 and Kevin Chrisom ’22 laid a wreath to honor all who died on the day and in honor of the military and first responders. The event ended with a benediction from Abbot Mark Cooper O.S.B. ’71, HD ’04 and a performance of America the Beautiful by the Saint Anselm College Schola.

Both events were livestreamed, a recording of the memorial service is available.

View the event livestream


View the 20th Anniversary Commemoration of September 11 Photo Gallery

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