On this, the 10th Anniversary of the September 11th hijacked plane attacks in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C., Pax Christi Michigan prayerfully remembers the thousands who lost their lives, along with those who suffered the unbearable loss of family and friends in the resulting infernos.  We honor grieving family members as well, who in their personal pain, founded “Sept 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows,” dedicating their lives to calling for total nonviolence and the cessation of all wars.

We remember the attackers – severely misguided souls who were brain washed into thinking they were doing the right thing – and their grieving families.  Finally we deeply grieve the way our politicians and others have continued to use these tragic events to demonize Muslim people here and abroad, manipulating the 9/11 tragedy to fuel their fear-driven vengeance against those who live in the Mideast.

“The cost of wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan are estimated at 225,000 lives and up to $4 trillion in U.S. spending, in a new report by scholars with the Eisenhower Research Project at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies. The group’s ‘Costs of War’ project has released new figures for a range of human and economic costs associated with the U.S. military response to the 9/11 attacks.”  See http://news.brown.edu/pressreleases/2011/06/warcosts.

So how do we rise up out of all this pain?  Pax Christi Michigan believes that the message of this 10th Anniversary must be the voice of sanity and healing – a call to right relationships in the midst of a madness that has been and continues to be manipulated by the machinery of war.  It is a call to recognize that we have the power to challenge and change ourselves and the prevailing mindset of hatred and retaliation.  More importantly, it is a call to re-commit ourselves to work together for the Common Good, so that all people may live justly, peacefully and nonviolently on this planet.

But if there is to be a refusal to use this anniversary to continue hijacking the souls of our citizens, it must begin with us. If there is to be a rejection of this madness – it must begin with us.  If there is to be an embracing of the whole world as sisters and brothers, it must begin with us.  If there is to be a commitment to building peace in our world, it must begin with us.

Many have worked tirelessly in the past 10 years to stand firm against becoming what our military industrial corporate-backed government would have us be. Thanks be to God! However, others may understandably be tempted to tire out, to give in, to give up.  Be aware!  We must not!

Instead we must stop politicians from manipulating people into believing that America has a legitimate right to indiscriminately retaliate, so that they can go on creating an acceptable climate for military mob violence against our sisters and brothers in Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan – and ultimately,Iran.

So on this 10th Anniversary of 9/11, let us courageously use our personal and communal power to recommit ourselves to a life of active nonviolence.  Let us continue to openly refuse to support the hateful retaliation that our government has been engaged in for the past 10 years.  And let us ask our children and our children’s children to help give voice to that refusal and that commitment, so that peace and peacemakers may finally prevail upon the earth…hopefully in their lifetimes…if not in ours. Peace! Shalom! Salaam!

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