Children of Abraham Peace Walk 2012
September 11, 2012, was once again a beautiful day: clear, blue, dry, sparkly. I was walking in the park in the morning and looked up to take in the sky and saw a plane fly by, and was suddenly struck by a memory of 2001, and those planes in the clear blue sky.
In the evening, I was one of the leaders of the 9th Annual Children of Abraham Peace Walk, starting at a synagogue that had taken in a church whose steeple had collapsed, killing a passer-by. We stood in silence at the church site afterward, before moving on to a mosque, a synagogue, a church, and the local firehouse where the children with us presented the firemen with treats of various kinds in ever-more-distant gratitude for their work and consolation for the tremendous loss the NYFD suffered on September 11, 2001.
We ended by joining the Brooklyn Heights Clergy Association’s annual commemoration, with clergy of every faith and ritual garb and language offered prayers for peace, for humanity.
photo by Tom Martinez
It was beautiful and felt good and we could imagine for a moment that Brooklyn is the world and that if we walk together and pray together long enough, conflict and tension and hatred and violence can be overcome.
Today, I learned of the terrible shootings of Chris Stevens, the American Ambassador to Libya and another diplomat and two State Department security officers, along with some Muslims. The shooting may have been part of larger protests there and in Egypt over a movie made by an Egyptian Christian who hates Islam and showed it in the film. An American pastor got involved promoting the film but has apparently withdrawn his support after the shootings; he was quoted as saying he withdrew support because he is a Christian and the film includes some pornography. The Film is reported to have support from Jewish backers.
Oy, oy, oy: Disrespect, violence, increasing tensions, conflict on so many levels. Are we Peace Walkers wrong? Naïve? I continue to think we need dreamers and persistent voices for peace in this violent world, and we need to speak out against violence and murder. I deplore these murders and I deplore this film, from what I hear of it, and I deplore the ways people allow a film to spur such violence.
Yesterday was our Ninth Annual Peace Walk. We already look forward to the Tenth, and now we have even more reason.
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