Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Remembering 9-11-2001

We remember the thousands of people from all over the world who lost their lives at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and in the field in Shanksville, PA.

We also remember the thousands of US troops who have sacrified their lives, limbs, sanity, happiness, and peace at war in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the hundreds of thousands of innocent people in the Middle East whose lives have been taken or damaged in this hideous war. We mourn their loss and the pain and destruction that the vicious attacks on 9-11-2007 and the wars linked to it have brought and continue to bring to the world.

We pledge to honor these losses with renewed commitment to the US Constitution. It is the heart and soul of the United States, the one thing that makes us a nation united. We pledge not to let fear and rage separate us from our core values, and to reinstitute those that we have given up too easily.

We pledge to remember that the enemy who struck us six years ago is not limited to any one religion or political ideology. That enemy is found here, at home as well, and its name is fundamentalism. It shows itself as absolute certainty without humility or doubt, as harsh and vengeful crusading ideology even when it poses as loving. We recognize its adherents by their readiness to bury truth, compassion, justice, tolerance, decency, learning, and life itself in their quest to dominate and control.

We pledge to defend our country and our Constitution from that enemy in all its guises, here and abroad, and to remember that there is that of God in all of us. We pledge to remember that Creation, too, is a sacred trust we are given to nurture and respect. It too has the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness on its own terms, and we pledge its defense as part of all that we commemorate this day and as we commit to defend our land and our Constitution from any who would destroy either.

Finally, today we remember the destruction of innocent life and culture in Iraq and Afghanistan in our name. We humbly apologize for all acts of arrogance, ignorance, and misdirected defense and for all travesties that have been committed in our names and linked to 9-11. We can do better than this, and we must.

We pledge to strive to be worthy of the sacrifices made on 9-11-2001 and at other times and places, for our liberty and for our Constitution, and to focus our energies on improving ourselves and our own culture first. We pledge with God's help to seek peace and justice. Amen.