There are lots of things on the walls in the offices of The Sun. Posters, signs, photographs, sports memorabilia, you name it. But in one hallowed space, editors past have collected our best and most important work — the mounted front pages of The Cornell Daily Sun on the day after armed students took over Willard Straight Hall in the name of civil rights, the day after students perished in a residence hall fire. Other front pages have become a part of the rolling memory of the organization: the day after John F. Kennedy was assassinated, the day the U.S. declared war on Japan. They now look yellowed with age, torn at the edges, and they have become a living memory of why we do what we do at the offices of 119 S. Cayuga Street.
The first front page in over 30 years to adorn the wall is from Sept. 12. The full-color image of an airplane striking the first tower of the World Trade Center is now pasted up in that hallowed space that has always seemed to guard history. Not many will ever forget the day that marked one of the most horrific acts of war and hatred to take place on American soil. As editors, we will never forget the day the cover was mounted on the wall, the day we became part of history. And we will never forget the days and weeks after as we continued to observe, analyze and report how Cornell as an institution responded.
In a famous sermon Dwight L. Moody once said that “character is what you are in the dark.” Never was this more obvious than after Sept. 11 — we have seen some of the most beautiful acts of human kindess, openess and ability to learn and to teach in the face of some of the most trying moments.
Students of all backgrounds demonstrated their beliefs and values on campus, rallied other students to engage in healthy dialogue, brought their efforts into Ithaca, to Washington D.C. and to New York City. Professors presented educated expert viewpoints and revived the concept of the “teach-in” to provide a forum for conscientious thought and expression.
In this issue we aim to present a synthesized view of the reflection, action, struggles and over-reaching consequences that tragedy has brought to our lives. In what has at times been a painful desire to cover the issue in its entirety, we have discovered some of the brilliance and true spirit of our learning community. We have looked back at issues that surfaced over a semester that at times seemed as if it were turned upside down. The time and energy the reporting and photography staff devoted to this edition showed a professional respect and sensitivity to the issues, a desire to understand and analyze, but most importantly to present to readers, the facts and details about the community in which we all live. The true character of curiosity, diversity and activism that shine on the Cornell campus continue to pull the institution through the seemingly impossible moments.
Archived article by Sun Staff