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9/11 Ten Years Later

I happened to be on a conference call about spiritual things on Sept. 11, 2001 that started, for me in San Diego, at 5 a.m. and ended promptly at 6. We were winding up when one of the participants broke in saying something like “Oh my God, a plane just hit the World Trade Center.” Like many I rushed to my TV – yes, I had a TV in those days – and watched the devastation unfold over and over again.

I’m a member of Activist San Diego which is dedicated to peace, social justice and environmental sustainability. Martin Eder, founder and executive director and friend sent the following message to members of that organization on that fateful day:

Terrorism is born of hopelessness. It is an unnatural state of affairs. A social order that has closed the doors on dignity and the possibility of democratic participation is a breeding ground for individualistic and suicidal desperation. A society full of cruelty will produce cruel offspring. A society based on class hierarchies, racial divisions, religious discrimination and national oppression will have no peace. There is peace born of justice and equality. There is also the peace of repression and dictatorship, but this is always a temporary peace.

I in a post on another site of mine I added

I believe that the events of today signal great change and in those moments of change is the opportunity to affirm life and love. I know that we can hold for peace, in ourselves, in our families, in our neighborhoods, in our country and in our world…

As the subsequent decade of persistent war and economic chaos has unfolded I find my opinion hasn’t changed one whit. Martin was right then and he’s still right. “Terroism is born of hopelessness.”

We can change that hopelessness if we have the internal willingness to do so. We still have the opportunity to affirm life and love, we can still hold for peace, starting within ourselves.

It starts with me and with you and with each one of us.

What can I do for peace today? To relieve hopelessness? To step out in love? What can you do?


{ 7 comments… add one }
  • Isaiah

    We have no right to be precious about our tragedy. For every 1 person killed in the attack, we have killed 1,000, and almost all of those people had nothing to do with the terrorist attack. Make the world more peaceful by working to end our wars against the innocent people of Iraq and Afghanistan.

  • You know, the thing about peace is that it’s a 2-way street; in other words, both sides need to have it as one of their wishes. I’ve never advocated violence, but as a child of a military veteran I’ve always acknowledged that there are times when a reply through violent actions is needed. That day and the days that followed made me angry and depressed, moreso than I’d ever remembered being before. Ten years later I don’t feel the pain or the depression, but I’d be lying if I said all the anger is gone.

    And, it seems, that holds true for the other side as well.
    Mitch Mitchell recently posted..September 11, 2011; Ten Years LaterMy Profile

  • I agree with Nicky… It seems like 9/11 was just a few weeks ago. And yet, so much has happened since then. I think this year, we rest a little easier, knowing that Osama is no longer with us.

    Now, we are able to turn tragedy into triumph as the memorial is unveiled and we begin to move forward with our lives.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Grady Pruitt recently posted..Remembering 9/11 and 5 Lesson We Can ApplyMy Profile

    • Anne

      Yes, and there really has been lots of productive, even kind moving forward Grady.

  • It’s astonishing to look back & realize that 10 years have gone by. Feels like only a week ago, it’s all so vivid in my mind, as it is in everyone’s. Such a tragic day, & we’ve lost many in its wake since.
    Nicky Parry recently posted..10 Years On: The Lingering Health Effects of 9/11My Profile

    • Anne

      yes, I’ve been thinking about what’s changed and what hasn’t since then. But that’s a political rant I fear.

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