About Us

We are grateful to our community partners and their help on this project.

SMU PRSSA Student Chapter
SMU PRSSA Student Chapter
SMU Faculty
SMU Faculty
City of University Park Fire Department
City of University Park Fire Department
Embrey Human Rights Program of Dedman College
Embrey Human Rights Program of Dedman College
Dallas Peace Center
Dallas Peace Center
Perkins School of Theology
Perkins School of Theology
logo for quicksilver interactive group
QuickSilver
Interactive Group
John Goodwin Tower Center
John Goodwin Tower Center
Logo for the Cary M Maguire Center for Ethics & Public Responsibility
Cary M. Maguire Center
for Ethics and Public Responsibility

 Memoria

Memoria: the ancient concept that urges rhetors to be aware of the images in the minds of the audience that inform how they will receive all future discourse.

The events of 9/11 changed our nation forever.  We no longer see a plane flying over a city without wandering where it is going. We have a heightened sense of security from airports to national championship sporting events that serves as a constant reminder that we may no longer be safe doing the ordinary things of life.  We have elevated our appreciation of firefighters, ambulance medics, and police officers as “first responders”; a term that implies the immediacy necessary to control events and a subtle reminder that second and third responses may be required of us. We have been taught to “Remember the Alamo” or to know that the Pearl Harbor attack is a “day that will live in infamy.”  Time and distance from such events have relegated them to history.  But the generations that lived through those events were forever changed.

Over the next few days, the Cary M Maguire Center for Ethics & Public Responsibility is leading a discussion on memoria, asking that we consider the events we remember of that fateful day and then bring to our conscious awareness the way those feelings and images affect our judgments.  Do they make us less trusting of people around us?  Are our fears justified?  Are our feelings ethical?  If not, how do we change them? Most important, how quickly will we rush to judgment?  How quickly can our passions be stirred in the service of some political agenda that may not be in our best interest?   Only by bringing out thoughts, feelings, prejudices, and knowledge to the forefront can we resist those who would manipulate us.

In essence, how we choose to remember the events of that day is an important ethical choice.  We welcome your thoughtful reflection.

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