Twelve years ago today, on Sept. 11, 2001, Washington and Lee music professor Terry Vosbein was in Oxford, England, where he was spending a sabbatical as a visiting fellow at University College. He got a call from a friend in Paris telling him, “Your country has just been attacked.”
After a week of self-described “numbness,” Terry composed “A Prayer for Peace,” which you can listen to above. It was his response to the tragedy that had unfolded back home. He has described the composition as his personal prayer for a peaceful world — “a world where there is no place for hatred or violence… a world in which religions recognize the overwhelming similarities that far overshadow their minor differences.”
We offer “A Prayer for Peace” today, on the 12th anniversary of 9/11. As you listen, we invite you to remember all those whose lives were lost that day and to remember especially two members of the Washington and Lee family — Rob Schlegel, of the Class of 1985, who died in the Pentagon, and James Gadiel, of the Class of 2000, who died in the World Trade Center.
Rob was on the staff of the chief of naval operations at the Pentagon and had been promoted to commander just weeks prior to the attack. James worked in the equities department of Cantor Fitzgerald, on the 103rd floor of the north tower of the World Trade Center.
On the campus this morning, the Lee Chapel bells tolled at 8:46 a.m., inviting the W&L community to pause and reflect.