The following is adapted from A Prayer for Peace, originally published 9/11/10
“In a larger sense, we can not dedicate – can not consecrate – we can not hallow – this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract.
President Abraham Lincoln, Gettysberg, Nov 19, 1863
If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.
September 11, 2011
Let us remember those who fell ten years ago today.
Let us honor their memory by looking within ourselves for the seeds of true and lasting change.
Let us no longer expend our energy in anger, but instead in reaching out, finding connection, building bridges across the divide.
Let us beseech our own God – however we may define Him – not to condemn, but to understand.
Let us find light and meaning in what we stand FOR, rather than deriving our purpose in the darkness of what we are against.
Let us live every day, every moment from a place of compassion and tolerance and respect for our fellow man.
Let us live what we preach from our pulpits – and what we as a nation claim to stand for.
Let us lead the way. Let us stand as a model to the world, not of insatiable greed and rampant intolerance, but of unshakable integrity and responsible freedom.
Let us think before we speak, pause before we act, and turn our attention (and our cameras) away from those who don’t.
Let us choose responsibility over sensationalism.
Let us invite those who would spew hate in the name of God – any God – to remember the most basic tenets of charity and love, mutual respect and responsibility that lie at the heart of every one of the religions that they would pervert. Let us reward them – not when they tantrum like children, longing for the spotlight – but when they take steps to break the cycle and walk a truly righteous path.
Let us follow in the footsteps of the heroes who ran into the mouth of hell ten years ago today. Let us honor with our actions those who sacrificed themselves to ensure that others would live, those who ran UP the stairs as everyone else scrambled down, those who reached out to strangers offering comfort, salvation and hope.
Let us remember those who spend this day on distant battlefields, fighting to ensure that we are never as vulnerable again as we were on that horrific day ten years ago. Let us thank them. Out loud. Let us support their families, whose loved ones are so heart-wrenchingly far from home.
Above all, let us remember those souls that flew straight to heaven ten years ago today. Let us keep them in our hearts and their families in our prayers. Let us live in a way that honors their legacy.
Let us find peace.