Letter to the Editor: “Novanationer” Instagram post featuring 9/11 Memorial inappropriate


Letter to the Editor: “Novanationer” Instagram post featuring 9/11 Memorial inappropriate

Caitlin Ramirez

This piece was edited for size and clarity.


I strongly believe in Villanova’s values of veritas, caritas and unitas. I think these values are demonstrated in every facet of life on campus, especially by our active fan base and the support we show for Villanova’s sports teams. The amazing energy of our community is reflected especially on Villanova’s most well-known social media fan account “novanationer.”

While scrolling through Instagram yesterday, I was very concerned to see that the account @novanationer had chosen to post a picture of the Villanova softball team standing in front of the 9/11 Memorial in downtown Manhattan. The team is pictured posing and smiling above a caption that reads, “@novaSoftball visited the National 9/11 Memorial as a team while in NYC.” This is followed by four emojis and two hashtags that read #VUFanGram #NovaNation. I feel as though this photograph can easily be misinterpreted as something that does not accurately represent the Villanova community, our beliefs and our values. I am fully aware that the softball team probably did not realize how it might look to use a hashtag like #VUFanGram in connection with the 9/11 memorial.

9/11 is still a very real event that lives on in my community. Growing up, I was taught to think reverently about this tragic event and to always pay homage to those who lost their lives and that very sad day. We must always remember how devastating 9/11 was for the tri-state area specifically and the country more broadly. The 9/11 Memorial offers a beautiful testament to the hundreds of thousands of lives that were lost on and changed in the aftermath of that dark day. For many, this memorial serves as the gravesite for their loved ones since many bodies were never recovered from the rubble.

I say all of this not to admonish the Villanova softball team. I do not personally know anyone on the softball team, nor do I have the details of their experience at the memorial. I write this in the hopes of opening up a conversation with anyone who is interested in discussing what this image means to us as a community committed to the values of veritas, caritas and unitas. I wonder if perhaps there could have been a more appropriate and respectful way for the Villanova softball team to commemorate their trip.