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Hamiltonians Contribute to Memorials Saluting 9/11 Victims

When Americans gather in Lower Manhattan and Shanksville, Pa., to mark the 20th anniversary of 9/11, the work of two Hamiltonians will help them remember that tragic day.

Spencer Finch ’85 9/11 Memorial
Spencer Finch ’85 created an installation commissioned for the New York City National 9/11 Memorial & Museum.

Spencer Finch ’85 created “Trying to Remember the Color of the Sky on that September Morning,an installation commissioned for the New York City National 9/11 Memorial & Museum. Jan Seidler Ramirez, chief curator and executive vice president of collections for the memorial, said of Finch, “He had the brilliant idea of making it at once about collective memory and honoring the individual memory of each and every person who died.” The cover story for the summer 2021 issue of Hamilton Magazine features Finch and his work.

The museum installation comprises 2,983 squares of paper painted in a different shade of blue to represent each victim of the 9/11 attacks or the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

Tower of Voices Chimes
Tower of Voices Chimes. Photo: Paul Murdoch Architects

In Shanksville, Pa., the Flight 93 National Memorial includes the 93-foot-tall Tower of Voices, a musical instrument comprising 40 wind chimes, each representing a passenger or crew member on United Flight 93. The Tower was designed by Los Angeles architect Paul Murdoch. He worked with Hamilton composer and Professor of Music Sam Pellman who devised the pitch for each of the 40 chimes. Tragically, the much-beloved Pellman died in a biking accident in 2017, almost a year before the Tower of Voices was dedicated on Sept. 9, 2018. 

Three Hamilton alumni died in the attacks on the World Trade Center on 9/11: Arthur Jones III ’86, Adam Lewis ’87, Sylvia San Pio Resta ’95. A plaque in the College’s Chapel was erected in their memories.

University of Oregon article "With a UO instructor's help, a 9/11 memorial offers solace in sound" about Sam Pellman and Jon Bellona's '03 work on the Tower of Voices.

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