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President Charles M. Vest, who is out of the country and unable to return due to the flying restrictions, issued this statement.

“We have been witness to a series of events of unprecedented tragedy and horror in this nation's history. Every one of us has been affected in many ways. Even as we pray for and meditate about the many victims of these unspeakable acts, we must also care for each other and assist each others' family and friends through this troubled time.

I want to thank all those who serve the needs of our MIT community and salute those who must deal directly with the death, injury and pain of those in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania. Again, my prayers are with all who are touched by this tragedy and I am confident that we will be able to sustain each other through this heart wrenching time.

The days ahead will be especially sad for some members of our community. Some will know their loss soon. Others will slowly discover their loss as the magnitude of this event becomes clear. We are all a bit numb and will awaken to the magnitude of the disaster and the consequences for our way of life. The whole episode will tax us as a community, on this campus, and as a nation.

But we are not powerless before this sadness. There are some things that we can do.

1. We can give blood that will contribute to sustaining lives that hang in the balance.

2. We can reach out to those who are not here with us now, who are frightened, discouraged, and sad.

3. We can embrace those who are new to the community, who are away from home for the first time, who are in a foreign country, or those who may be fearful of our reaction to them in the wake of this event. They too are members of our community and deserve our reassurance and support.

4. Finally, we can avoid becoming overwhelmed by rumor and speculation which will not help and which will only be painful distractions.

I hope we can take advantage of this opportunity during the next few days to reflect on this event, to strengthen each other and to serve as a model for a caring community.”

-- Charles M. Vest