On this day, the twelfth anniversary week of the 9/11 attacks, our collective thoughts turn with compassion toward the victims and their families. We remember the first responders, many of whom died saving others. We remember our service men and women who died in ensuing conflicts. We are thankful for all those who helped the wounded, counseled the hurting, and cleaned the environment. We also celebrate our strength and resilience.
Twelve years later, many challenges and threats to peace still remain. Collective thoughts will also be on Syria and the victims of its long civil war and recent brutal chemical attack on innocent civilians. As the nation and the world debate an appropriate response, let us strive to keep our hearts and minds on the goal of achieving lasting peace. Let us resist cynicism or apathy. Let us continue to promote peace within our own spheres of influence in the home, at work, and at school. Let us not tire of planting the seeds of love and peace in our children to ensure a brighter tomorrow.
Here are a few ways you can stand up for peace this week:
Spend a moment at the peace pole in the McKinstry courtyard reflecting on the victims of 9/11 and the victims of conflicts around the world.
Attend the peace walk on Sunday, Sept. 15 in Albany. Get more details here.
Do something to observe the International Day of Peace on Saturday, Sept. 21. This description on the Website puts it well:
“Anyone, anywhere can celebrate Peace Day. It can be as simple as lighting a candle at noon, sitting in silent meditation or doing a good deed for someone you do not know. Or it can involve getting your co-workers, organization, community or government engaged in a large event. The impact if millions of people in all parts of the world, coming together for one day of peace, is immense, and does make a difference.” (www.internationaldayofpeace.org)
The challenges are enormous and complicated. But do not let this paralyze you from taking a step towards peace today. The ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu once said “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”