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Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Students pledge acts of kindness to honor Sept. 11 victims

Despite the 90-plus degree heat, the unrelenting sun and the hectic rush of traffic on Monday, students stopped for a moment on Turlington Plaza to record and commit to good deeds honoring the victims of 9/11.

Ten years and one day after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, members of the Lubavitch-Chabad Jewish Student & Community Center held the 9/11 Good Deed Marathon to encourage students to perform a random act of kindness in memory of the attacks.

Members held a moment of silence at 12:54 p.m.

Students, faculty and staff wrote their deeds on a slip of paper, attached the picture to a victim of the attacks and pinned them to illustrations of the World Trade Center towers on a board.

One person promised to help her roommate cope with a family death, and another decided to listen to students more.

"I'm going to call my brother in Afghanistan tonight," read another slip.

Others promised prayers.

Rabbi Berl Goldman, executive director of Lubavitch-Chabad, said the student group has been honoring the victims of Sept. 11 this way since 2005. He described it as countering the random act of violence with random acts of kindness.

"We're doing the opposite," he said.

Goldman and members of Lubavitch-Chabad stood at their table from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Last year, they collected about 800 good deeds, or "mitzvahs." This year, the students' goal was to reach more than 1,000. The attendance tally came out to 1,035.

Goldman said people of all religions and backgrounds stopped by the table.

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Some students stopped by of their own accord, and group members encouraged people walking on Turlington Plaza to stop by.

Participants received a sticker advertising the event after they had pinned their deeds to the board.

One student stopped at the table to read the names of the Sept. 11 victims, which were printed into the red stripes on an American flag displayed on the table.

International studies junior Jared Winn stopped by when he was walking through Turlington Plaza.

He wanted to do something to commemorate the victims.

"I just remember that day very vividly," he said. Winn remembered watching the second plane fly into the southern tower live on television.

He was 11 at the time.

He said he realized it was serious when the plane hit, and his mom started crying.

Winn's uncle worked in the Pentagon, but had not gone in to work that day.

After a little difficulty getting his pin to stick in the board, Winn added his slip of paper to the others.

He will call his mom to honor the victims of Sept. 11, 2001.

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