Monday, September 11, 2006

 

September 11: A Day of Peace

I received the following email letter from the good group 20/20 Vision this morning. A reminder that today, as we remember the dead, we also honor nonviolence. For today is the 100th anniversary of Ghandi's first action of nonviolent resistance, against the racist laws of South Africa. May you live this day in peace.

Today marks the fifth anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center. And there will be memorials, rallies and speeches that will remember that tragic day. Some will be centered around the 2,996 dead in the attacks. Others will remember the almost 2,700 US troops who have been killed in Iraq. Still others will focus on the over 3,000 dead as a result of US actions in Afghanistan, or the reported over 100,000 civilian dead in Iraq.

It will be a tragic anniversary of a tragic day.

But September 11 is another anniversary, too. 100 years ago today, the first nonviolent action was begun by Mahatma Ghandi in South Africa. In response to a racist anti-Asian law, Ghandi declared that he would go to jail, or even die, before obeying the law. With Ghandi's action, a new approach to changing the world was born.

On this day in 1906, non-violence was born.

On this day in 2001, the act of a group of violent extremists plunged the US, and the world, into a round of violence that has not yet ended.

2020 Vision has long worked for peace. From opposing the spread of nuclear weapons to opposition to the Iraq war, we have worked to make the world a safer place. Now, with our continuing work to end the Iraq occupation and our focus on stopping the next oil war by working for energy independence, that work is as vital as it's ever been.

We thank you for all of the work you've done. And we know that the work is not over yet. As Congress rushes to finish its legislative calendar this month, there will be too little serious discussion of peace, too much politics played with war.

Today, as we remember the anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center, we hope we can also remember the other September 11. One hundred years
ago, a great leader taught the world that peace could be a driver of change, not just a goal. He taught that peace is an action, rather than merely the absence of war.

As we mourn the dead around the world in the aftermath of September 11, 2001, let us not forget the lesson of September 11, 1906.


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