By William Lambers
Sep 08, 2022
Editor’s Note: On Sunday, I observe yet another anniversary of losing a family member on 9/11. It’s been 21 years and on each anniversary my PTSD kicks in. There is a lot going on in my life right now, and I could not bring myself to research and write an article on 9/11. I am posting an article that appeared this week in the Hartford Courant that touches on what we all want – Peace and Unity.
Those of us who were old enough on 9/11 in 2001 will never forget that tragic day when terrorists attacked America and killed nearly 3,000 people. However, what might be forgotten over time is the unity in America after the attacks.
For a little while, at least, there was no partisan bickering between Republicans and Democrats. The name-calling was put aside. Everyone was in shock and needed help coping with a trauma our nation had not seen since Pearl Harbor and the second World War. I remember the graduate program I was attending at Mount St. Joseph University became a counseling session to help us deal with the anxiety. Our nation also had to come together quickly to prevent any potential future attacks.
Very sadly unity has left us in many quarters, but threats still remain. These are not only terrorist groups, but dangers like climate change and famine that can destabilize large parts of the globe.
There is a major war taking place in Ukraine right now that has no end sight, and always the danger of it escalating. Russia’s invasion has again raised the fears of nuclear weapons. There are conflicts ongoing in many countries like Yemen and Syria. Amid the chaos of war, terrorist groups can often thrive.
Our goal must still be to prevent tragedies like 9/11 from ever happening again. The only way this can be done is if America is united in a mission of peace. For only a world at peace can we be free from terrorist attacks.
As Dwight Eisenhower once said, we must have a “passion for peace.” We must have an imagination for peacemaking with fresh ideas. This means we must be opposed to violence everywhere including countries like Yemen where conflict has been allowed to drag on for years with U.S. military aid contributing.
We must be outraged when a Yemeni child is killed by a missile while in a playground. We must be outraged when a child starves to death in East Africa, especially when it could have been prevented. We must be moved to action to prevent suffering anywhere in the globe.
The horrific attacks on 9/11 revealed evil and brutality at its worst. The only things we can control is preventing such suffering from ever happening again. That cannot be achieved through military means, which we certainly know after the 20-year war in Afghanistan.
The September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows put on its website the quote of Martin Luther King, Jr.: “Wars are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrows.”
The only path to a world at peace, free from terrorism, is by advocating nonviolence. Peacemaking and compassion must be our priority. One place we can help right now is by preventing famine in Somalia. Likewise, in Afghanistan we can provide life-saving aid where millions are also at risk of starvation because of drought. We must advocate for peace in Yemen and hunger relief.
As we mark the anniversary of 9/11 let’s remember that we need to come together for a global mission of peace. That is how we can best honor the victims of that tragic day and prevent it from ever happening again.
William Lambers is the author of “The Road to Peace” and partnered with the UN World Food Program on the book “Ending World Hunger.” The New York Times, Newsweek, Chicago Sun-Times, History News Network and many other news outlets, have published his writings.