I have had several questions as to whether the CSSA will still hold the
picnic today in light of the recent attacks on our nation.
The answer is yes. I feel that events that bring us together as a
community are more vital than ever now, and our leaders have urged us as
a nation to continue on with our lives as normal, refusing to shut down
as our attackers wish. I am sure some of you may have attended the service
at Ira Allen Chapel yesterday. I personally did not attend as I am not
comfortable with grieving in public, preferring usually to keep my sorrow
private. Yet in the past two days I have never before felt so
personally involved with anything our country has ever been through in my
lifetime. Not the gulf war, not the oklahoma city bombing, nothing
has ever struck me, and I'm sure many others, so _personally_ before,
striking a chord in me that I did not know I possessed: _patriotism_. I
had never before realized that I was deeply proud to be an American. I
thought I was mildly embarrassed at my country's ethnocentrism. In a
'global' world village, what does that mean? I have never seen such an
awful thing but neither have I ever seen such a rallying of Americans...
but will that be for ALL Americans?
This is a frightening time. Every media form I have come in contact with
is a picture of horror, every internet site has a message of sorrow and
regret and sympathy across the front page. I am already sickened by the
backlash and I fear it: Arabic-looking people have been attacked in New
York, an Arab-American owned store window smashed in Illinois, and I just
heard that here in Colchester a block away from VPR some men went into the
Islamic Society looking for a fight & ran off when the police were called.
Please please speak up for anyone you can given the opportunity.
Trying times, but not a time to give in or cancel each small show of
solidarity. We will go on with the picnic, as we must go on with our lives
with our resolve and courage unfaltering. I would like to hold a moment of
silence during the event, out of respect for the fallen. Thank you all for
listening, I apologize for being so lengthy and also for being so
personal. I am one voice among many who surely have outcries of their own.
I invite everyone to speak on the cssa list: [log in to unmask], here are
directions on how to join: http://www.emba.uvm.edu/~cssa/listserv.html
Thank you for your time
-Caitlin Coughlin, CSSA president.
picnic 5-7 TODAY CBW Green next to Cook