As Wayne and I walked back to the President’s House from the Chapel last night, each of us carrying a candle, I was struck by the ability of even two small candles to vanquish the darkness. Dispelling this darkness was a theme of the September 11 service that we had just attended in Houghton Chapel.
The service opened with a moving speech by Dean Victor Kazanjian, remembering a Wellesley alum he knew well—one of the many who perished that day. The service was simple and powerful. As I listened to readings and recitations by students—interspersed with selections by the Wellesley College Choir, the Backbay Ringers Handbell Choir, and the Carillon—I recalled, as one does, where I was on September 11, 2001, and all that has happened in the world since then.
I was especially moved by hearing from the many voices of Wellesley last night: the Jewish voice, the Christian voice, the Muslim voice, the Unitarian Universalist voice, the Buddhist voice, the Hindu voice. It is important that all of these voices are heard, and continue to be heard here on campus and in the world.
Then, as the Wellesley College Choir sang “Hope,” all of us in the audience picked up a small candle and formed a large circle inside the Chapel. We held onto those candles as we left. Walking home, as I looked behind me, I took comfort in seeing the small points of light illuminating the darkness, dispersing all over campus.