I needed hope for humanity after I came out of the Holocaust Museum. It is like God guided me here where I can experience us love and mutual respect. We are holding hands and dancing together! I needed this today.
* * *
Three tourists who happened to be on the Mall and discovered the Prayer Vigil during the World Peace Prayer Society's Flag Ceremony:
We are from Moldovia. We would never have guessed we'd have a chance to hold our flag during a sacred ceremony on the Mall in Washington, DC.
2001 Prayer Vigil Afterthoughts....
Friday morning September 21st, I sat with my sons and a friend, who offered to stay with them, at the dining room table for one last wrap-up before heading down to Washington, DC. Since September 11th’s horrific events, the Prayer Vigil took on a slightly different feel for me. I was going to be staying 3 days in a place where, not that long ago, hundreds lost their lives in a cowardly attack on innocent people.
For the first time I was consciously aware that my life might be in danger. I thought to myself “this must be what military personnel feel just before going into battle.” There was a sense of calm in it all. I told my family that there was no place on earth I'd rather be than at that Prayer Vigil -save being with you kids. I explained to them that we were going to have a prayer vigil, whether two people showed up or hundreds showed up. And that we were prepared for whatever the consequences of that decision may be.
* * *
I was honored to do it.
We have always been blessed in the past with extraordinarily beautiful weather and this year was no exception. The sun was shining brightly with just a hint of coolness in the breeze. Yet, there was something different this time. For those of you who have never been to Washington DC, the Mall is an area somewhat like Central Park in New York where there is open grass for people to rest and play. The Washington Monument is in the center with maybe 20-30 American flags circling it. On a normal September day such as this one, The Mall is liken to an ant farm - swarming with tourists and peoples flying kites, riding bikes, playing football or just taking a break on the lawn.
* * *
I was transformed.
Literally, I closed my eyes and could feel my Islamic and Muslim brothers and sisters around me. I felt like I was right there in Afghanistan or somewhere in the Middle East taking time for God (Allah) before the start of my day.
* * *
What a powerful experience.
The final blessing of the day was when we turned and realized that all the American flags had all been raised that morning and it was a new day....
* * *
A new day for all of us.
Dear people, we are in this world together. Please, please I implore you all. If you really believe in unity, in a one world one people, then do something today to challenge that belief system. Take the phone book and find a Mosque - call them and see if you can be allowed to celebrate with them. Put yourself out there. Go to these people. Go to each other. We need each other now more than ever.
* * *
A Native American teaching from Chief of the Algonquin Anishabe people.
We are all members of the family of people. NO ONE is to be cast out of the circle. NO ONE! We must love all of each other. Why is this all happening? How would you feel if you were cast out of the circle? Think about it. No one is asking you to believe or agree with everything everyone says or cherishes as their truth. All I am saying as members of the human community which we ALL are, we must find a way to honor the uniqueness of everyone. The weapons will be laid to the ground once we do this. I promise you.