9/11 Anniversary Reflections

18 July 2017

I have been reflecting deeply as we approach the 10th anniversary of September 11, 2001 and want to share a few words.

I grieve the loss of life on that tragic day tens years ago.

I grieve the human alienation that brought individuals to a place of despair and hatred so profound that the only hope they could find was in murdering innocent people.

I grieve the path my country has taken since 9/11 – the “you’re either with us or against us” attitude that has led to over $3 trillion being poured into two seemingly endless wars that have claimed far, far more innocent lives than the tragedy of 9/11, while so much urgent human need goes unaddressed.

I grieve the proliferation of acts of terror around the world.

Mostly, I grieve the lost opportunity to claim from the ashes of the 9/11 devastation a heightened sense of global solidarity that would have impelled us to listen to each other in new ways and forge a shared future, upbuilding the Earth community by working cooperatively to address the scourges of poverty, violence, oppression and environmental degradation.

May this anniversary mark a turning point as profound as the one caused by the events of 9/11. But may this turning be one away from violence toward a more united human community committed to using all our collective resources to create cultures of peace, justice and healing for the Earth and all living beings.

My pledge is to wake up each day committed to doing all I’m able to help make this turning a reality so our grieving may be transformed into celebration.

I am deeply grateful to be able to live into this pledge in the midst of URI’s remarkable global community.