Duke plans big blow-out for 9-11 anniversary, in sharp contrast to ignoring Veterans Day and Memorial Day.

✔ Duke University is planning several events to mark the 10th anniversary of the 9-11 attacks, culminating with a program in the Chapel next Sunday afternoon. Dukies should attend these observances and contrast them with the continuing neglect of our heroic classmates, faculty and staff who gave their lives in the nation's wars.

In the Chapel, the program will include a performance of Mozart's Requiem -- symbolic of mourning and consolation -- by the Chapel Chair, Duke Chorale, the Choral Society of Durham and the Orchestra Pro Cantores.

There will also be remarks by President Brodhead, Durham Mayor William Bell, Dean of the Chapel Sam Wells and Duke's Muslim chaplain, Imam Abdullah Antepli.

FC has long pointed out that while Duke promptly erected a memorial to the six Dukies who happened to be in the World Trade Center on that September day, and while the Alumni Department has laid a wreath every year, Duke neglected for more than half a century the campus memorial to our war dead. That is, the memorial not to people who per chance were attacked, but to men and women who deliberately stepped into harm's way.

It was only after intense pressure -- intense -- with repeated batterings of Brodhead in newspapers and blogs -- that Duke fixed the war memorial and rededicated it two years ago.

But then it fell into neglect again. There were no observance of Memorial Day nor Veterans Day until another furor. And then a minimal effort, just an Alumni Department wreath.

Aside from the re-dedication of the war memorial, Brodhead has never spoken out about Dukies who gave their lives in the nation's service, possibly because he -- and just about everyone else in his administration -- never had the honor of wearing a uniform in the Armed Forces.

Neither has Dean Wells, who came to Duke from Cambridge, England, spoken. Nor has the Chapel been used.

This is a study of contracts. FC thinks 9-11 is overdone, and Duke continues to neglect its veterans.

On a national scale, we point out that a member of our Armed Forces who is killed in battle will only leave his family a small life insurance policy that he or she has paid for personally through payroll deductions. In some instances, there will be continuing salary benefits. But the families of those killed in 9-11 have gotten multi-million dollar awards, from a federal fund set up to keep them from suing the airlines whose jets were hijacked during the attack, and from generous public contributions. Another study in contrasts.

(The 9-11 memorial was temporarily moved to allow for construction of the new Keohane Quad dorm)

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