In Honor of September 11, 2001

It’s hard to believe that it’s been seventeen years since we woke up to find out that our country was attacked in the most brutal way with the taking down of the Twin Towers and all that accompanied that horrific day. Just like when our President Kennedy was assassinated, I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing. I remember especially how our place of work tried to continue that day as if nothing were happening. I think it was because we didn’t know at first what actually was happening. It was too horrific to imagine and accept. Do you remember the silence that permeated the skies when all air travel was halted? It is a sound I will never forget.

Less than a year after September 11, 2001, I had the opportunity to visit Ground Zero. I will never forget how it felt to get off the subway. The air was thick with sorrow and loss that could be felt in my very bones. It was deathly silent. Looking at the pictures of those who were lost pasted up on fences and buildings was devastating. My family and I wept, feeling helpless and at a loss of what to do. We bowed our heads in reverence and prayer.

So, here we are seventeen years later. Our country and its people are resilient. We have re-built Ground Zero. We are still at war in Afghanistan. The war on terror is still raging. Homeland Security was born on that day and continues to do its best to protect us.

The encouraging part is that for the most part for the most of us, it has not sent us into a fear that is crippling. We still travel. We still go to Broadway shows. We still use the subway system. We still do everything we did before that fateful day.  We still do it even thought since that time we have had other attacks on innocent citizens in various parts of our globe. We do not give up or give away our freedom to terror.

However, there is one thing that we are still doing that needs to be replaced. It is our way of dealing with bringing of peace.  It didn’t work during the Crusades. It didn’t work during WWII. It didn’t work in Viet Nam. It didn’t work in Irak. The list goes on of how war has not worked over the evolution of our planet.

What I know is a new day is dawning. There are a group of people who are growing in numbers who realize where the answers do exist. They are working on it day and night. They are spreading the good news. They are those of us who realize that the only way to begin this Crusade for Peace is within our own hearts by letting go of judgment, anger, resentment and the need for revenge, and replacing it with forgiveness, love, following our passions, speaking out Truth and living it wherever we find ourselves.

We know we cannot stop the wars until we stop our inner wars. We cannot expect to love those afar when we still hold anger and resentment for our own families and neighbors and especially our own selves. We understand that charity begins at home, that home being the home within our very own hearts.

So, on today, September 11, 2018, I remember and hold in my heart the dear angels who lost their lives that day. I know that they and their families are held in the arms of grace and comfort. It is not enough to say “we will never forget.” I will never forget, but I will remember that change comes in the present moment. I cannot change the past, but I can live the present in a new way. In their memory, which is written on the walls of time, I will not let them have died in vain. I will do my civic duty and vote for those I think are the best peacemakers. I will continue to live for the souls of the fallen to the very best of what I know to be a beacon of peace in my own life, knowing that this peace ripples out into the world and creates huge change for the highest good for all.

Love and Aloha,

Rev. Rita


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