Statement from Interhostel

By Kim Billings
UNH News Bureau

October 8, 2001

INTERHOSTEL shares the grief and dismay of all Americans over the tragic events of September 11. We have seen people respond to its aftermath in many heroic and loving ways that have been inspirational to our nation and to the world. The unity of spirit that is demonstrated in these many efforts assists the healing process and lends strength of purpose to keep the "light of freedom" shining.

Some of you may know that one of our frequent INTERHOSTEL reps and a faculty emeritus of the University was among the airline passengers lost that day. Professor Robert Le Blanc loved to travel and was scheduled to lead the tour to Argentina. His loss to the University community is great, but the enthusiasm and love of learning that he inspired are still with us.

We feel strongly that this is not a time to retreat into fear, but a time to reaffirm our freedom and way of life. And though our sorrow is great, we firmly renew our commitment to the mission upon which INTERHOSTEL was originally founded--to provide learning opportunities around the world, so people can engage in meaningful interactions and come to more deeply understand other people and cultures. The events of September demonstrate how great this need still is both within our country and abroad. This learning is a cornerstone of understanding and appreciating our diversity.

We renew our commitment to our INTERHOSTEL alumni and new participants to go forward with our learning programs as normally as possible. Many of you have expressed to us that this is what you desire also. We believe that the cultural bridges that these programs build are even more crucial now.

Our staff is in close contact with our host institutions here and abroad. We will continue to monitor the situation, advise participants of any changes, and follow precautions issued by the U.S. Government.

The optimism, resolve, and desire to learn that you bring to our programs, and to your fellow travelers reinforces our belief in the values set forth in our original mission. We continue to see the world as our classroom and invite you to explore it with us.

We thank you for your love of learning, your curiousity about the world, and your desire to explore the many facets of this great nation and the world.

Best Regards,
Carol W. Bense, Manager

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