Alumna shares book, 9/11 loss
By Dan O'Brien
October 17, 2013
Tita Puopolo ’96, MA ’97, the daughter of 9/11 victim Sonia Mercedes Morales Puopolo, read from her book, Sonia’s Ring: 11 Ways to Heal Your Heart, in the Presidents Room of the Iwasaki Library on October 16 before a standing-room-only audience.
Emerson President Lee Pelton was on hand, as well as Lama Migmar Tseten, Buddhist Chaplain at Harvard University, as Puopolo read passages about her personal journey from hatred, sorrow, and doubt to love, faith, hope, and perseverance.
Emerson President Lee Pelton with Tita Puopolo '96, MA '97, and Lama Migmar Testen, Buddhist Chaplain at Harvard University, at the Iwasaki Library on October 17, 2013. (Photo by Wilder Bunke '15)
The title of Puopolo’s book commemorates the ring that was found on her mother’s finger fully intact under 1.6 million tons of rubble at Ground Zero. Morales Puopolo was a passenger on American Airlines Flight 11.
While addressing the Emerson community at the annual 9/11 vigil in September, Puopolo said the finding of her mother’s ring “shows that miracles do happen.”
“We all have the power to heal,” she said. “The pain of losing a mother is the greatest pain that one can ever experience… [But] I want to say that, no matter what your loss, or who you lost, those people live on in your hearts forever.”
Tita Puopolo '96, MA '97, reads from Sonia's Ring as Lama Migmar Testen, Buddhist Chaplain at Harvard University, looks on. (Photo by Wilder Bunke '15)
Puopolo, who was president of Emerson’s Communication, Politics, and Law Association when she was a student, used the October 16 gathering to donate an award to the students of the Bird Street after-school program in Boston for an upcoming trip to Washington, D.C. The Bird Street students, with the help of students in Emerson’s Communication Studies Department, have filmed several public service announcements denouncing bullying, which Puopolo said is an important issue to her.
“The message [of my book] is that we have to be kinder and more loving to one another as a humanity,” she said.
Djamilson Daveigo of the Bird Street after school program shares a story with the crowd and Tita Puopolo '96, MA '97. (Photo by Wilder Bunke '15)