Hospital memorial includes images of American military

More than 100 people visited U Hospital’s Hope Chapel Thursday to remember the tragedies of Sept. 11.

A four-and-a-half minute slide show set to the song “Have You Forgotten” by Daryl Worley was prepared and presented by hospital chaplain Mark Allison several times during the day.

“It’s a day of memory, a day of hope, a day of patriotism…it’s meant to be respectful as well,” Allison said.

The slide show was originally prepared for an Apache helicopter unit Allison works with in the National Guard.

“I joined the National Guard in January and made this to present to soldiers and leadership. They liked it so much, I decided to show it at work,” Allison said.

The three formal presentations of the slide show filled the small Hope Chapel with hospital employees, and brought tears to many eyes.

“It was excellent,” said patient Ethan Woodbury, who attended with his occupational therapist, Jeanette Koski.

“I think it’s important to remember, and how the country came together,” Koski said.

Barbara Van Asdlan, a registered nurse with the hospital’s case management for trauma, spent 14 years in the Army Reserve’s nurse corps.

She agreed the presentation was excellent and said she thought the film should be shown on television. She even promised to call local news stations to tell them about it.

Although Worley’s song and the photographs that accompanied it were critical of Americans who protested President Bush’s policy toward Iraq and the military engagement there, Allison said, “It’s not meant to be a political statement, just one of remembrance.”

Pictures in the slide show were mostly familiar images of New York, Pennsylvania and the Pentagon on Sept. 11, as well as of U.S. troops in the Middle East.

But they also included a photo of Saddam Hussein, President Bush speaking to the United Nations, protesters holding signs that read “Stop Bush” as well as John Wayne in front of an American flag.

When asked about the views expressed by the music and pictures he chose for the memorial, Allison reiterated that the presentation is not meant to be political.

He said no one has commented about it and didn’t anticipate that anyone would.

Before each showing, he did preface the presentation by explaining that it was originally designed for military personnel.

“The slide show is meant to generate emotions,” he told a group of 25 before the noon showing, referring to the feelings of fear, anger or patriotism typically associated with the event.

Memorial pins were available, as well as cards for written reflections that were to be posted on the Internet.

Allison said last year’s memorial was geared toward a more individualistic experience, and he is pleased with this year’s setup because of the audio-visual element.

He said it provides the option of a multisensonry experience: hearing, seeing and feeling in a group atmosphere, he said.

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