SEPTEMBER 11, 2001
ATTACK ON HUMANITY
CONFRONTING TERROR WITH DIALOGUE
This is a dark day not merely for the United States but for the global community. Let us give thanks to the countless men and women who at great risk to themselves are trying to cope with this emergency. Let us weep with the victims and their families. Let us do our best to ensure that this act of terrorism is not allowed to precipitate a chain reaction of escalating retaliatory violence. Let us do our best to keep from rashly placing blame and lashing out at members of suspect groups. Let us do our best to channel our sorrow, our anger, our frustration, and our revulsion at this heinous act into unceasing efforts to promote dialogue among ideologically, politically, and religiously diverse groups. Let us do our best to keep the flame of hope alive. We must, in the words of the poet, love one another or die . . .Ingrid ShaferI wrote the preceding paragraph the day of the attack and sent it off to several of my online communities. Since then, I have been deeply touched by the almost universal outrage at this heinous act and the resulting opportunities for building bridges across cultures as together we start out on our common human journey to overcome murderous fanaticism. As a child of the Second World War, I find myself close to tears at images of forner bitter enemies -- men, women, and children from countries, such as Albania, Bangladesh, China, England, France, Germany, India, Israel, Kenya, Palestine, Peru, Russia -- identifying with the United States as they are lighting candles and bringing flowers to mourn the dead. Nothing could more strongly attest to the ultimate absurdity of war. This outpouring of global solidarity also gives meaning to the sacrifice of thousands of unwitting martyrs, men and women from many religious and national groups who happened to be in the twin towers when death struck from the skies. Their dying turned what could have been an act of cosmic vandalism with one tenth of the loss of life if the towers had been struck at 3:00 am some Sunday morning, into mass murder so heinous that it had the power to galvanize not only this nation but much of the civilized world.
11 September 2001
And so, as my contribution to the cause of peace, the cause of humanity, I created a collage of a few of those images in the hope that one of my personal saints, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin will have been right when he predicted the spiritual unification of the world in an through the cosmic power of love.21 September 2001
Large version of the same image (202kb)
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Webpage Editor: Ingrid H. Shafer, Ph.D.
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Posted 14 September 2001
Last revised 23 September 2001