face and for the first time since Tuesday, Sept. 11, I had a momentary
sense that the horror of the past week was only a bad dream.
Like Snow White or Juliet, the dead were not dead, I thought, only
sleeping. But the prince has not come and the potion has not worn off. It
is no dream.
As part of the United Nations International Decade for a Culture of
Peace and Nonviolence for the Children of the World 2001-10, Tuesday,
Sept. 11, had been set aside as The International Day of Peace.
As I walked into the church's sanctuary and took a seat, I wondered if
those pilots knew that. Perhaps it was their quiet little joke. Peace for
A few more than 100 people had gathered to mourn and hope and pray.
The sanctuary was a sea of national colors. All down one wall a huge
plate glass window was open to the Southern California sky.
Every person there was in some fashion of red, white and blue. There
were stars on navy dresses and stripes on T-shirts. There were Hawaiian
shirts of hibiscus. There were ribbons on lapels.
The pastor offered up his homily. A young man sang a song. This is a
Day of Remembrance and Prayer. How long will we pray? How soon will we
The International Day of Peace has been celebrated on the opening day
of the General Assembly of the United Nations since 1981. A minute of
silence for peace is observed. It is meant to be evidence of a commitment
to peace "in all its viable ways."
The people in the sanctuary began to offer up their prayers:
o7 Lord, comfort the children who have lost their parents and comfort
the parents who have lost their children. O Lord, hear our prayer.
Lord, give us wisdom and give our leaders wisdom in the days ahead. O
Lord, hear our prayer.f7
Another day of remembrance came this week: Rosh Hashana. It is one of
my favorite Holy Days. This year it fell one week to the day from the day
of our national tragedy. Rosh Hashana. Head of the year.
It is a time to reflect on the past, to glean its lessons and it's
wisdom and to bring hope to the future.