By Johnny Zokovitch, Director of National Field Operations
“The challenge, as we move forward to develop a national response to these horrible events, is to remain true to the best of who we are as people of faith and as Americans. Fear is understandable. What we do with our fears will truly test our faith and character.” ~ From Pax Christi USA’s statement in the aftermath of the events of September 11, 2001
Like many of you, I woke this morning to the news of the killing of Osama bin Laden. My first week on staff at Pax Christi USA coincided with the acts of violence which occurred on September 11, 2001. I remember how we gathered as a staff to ask what these events meant to our work, and most importantly, what our response as an organization would be, rightly assuming that our nation’s grief could easily be manipulated into a call for vengeance that would perpetuate the cycle of violence and lead us into war.
This morning, I reread the statements we released in the immediate aftermath of September 11, and I find, sadly, that our concerns over where we as a nation would go were prescient. Even more, I am saddened that the serious and sober work of reflection and understanding which we called for has yet to penetrate the consciousness of most of those who wield power in our nation’s capitol, as well as among many of our fellow citizens. We have much work still ahead of us.