Today is the 16th anniversary of September 11.
I have to admit that my day started off without a thought of this anniversary. I woke up thinking of the people in the Florida who just experienced the devastating effects of hurricane Irma, I rushed to get my boys to school and got home to a million things to do for work. Then I looked at the date and I stopped in my tracks. Today was the anniversary and I wanted to think about this in a peaceful way.
We often think of the violence that marked this day 16 years ago. We can all remember where we were when we heard of the planes flying into the twin towers. We can all remember the horror and fear as we were glued to the TV as the towers fell. We called our friends and family in New York to make sure they were safe. And our lives were never the same again.
So as I thought about this anniversary and thought about what good could come out of this horror and tragedy, I began looking into peaceful ways to memorialize 9/11.
I found that in Palo Alto they hold a Peace Walk. Last year over 35 people joined together to walk in peace in remember 9/11. One of the organizers, Rev. Dr. Diana Gibson explained: “We invite people from all walks of life, whether they are people of a particular faith or no particular faith, all colors of the rainbow, left, right, and center, children, youth and adults, to join us on this walk for peace. We want to show our community and the world that, given the opportunity, people will come together to say ‘no’ to division, violence, and fear, and ‘yes’ to friendship and peace.” This year they are adding a picnic.
And Better Together at Ohio University and United Campus Ministry today (Monday) are holding the seventh annual 9/11 Interfaith Peace Walk. The press release states: “Now more than ever, the walk’s message of peace as a value that spans religious and philosophical difference is sorely needed.”
So let us remember September 11. And let us think of ways to learn from what happened and work to peace and a culture where such violence has no place. Maybe next year I can work with my students at King’s to find a way that we can remember 9/11 in a peaceful way.