September 21, 2011
Here is to Peaceful Tomorrows
Until I heard a woman from September 11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows (peacefultomorrows.org) speak around a table the other night, I was thinking that people who did not have any loved one killed on September 11 had three choices of what to do on that day and preceding days. They could do whatever they normally would do on the first Sunday after Labor Day and “back to school.” They could attend a commemorative event. They could scream at an anti-Muslim hatefest — if there is one, as there was last year on September 11.
Valerie, whose nephew was killed on September 11 and who works courageously for Peaceful Tomorrows, said that what she wishes everyone would do on September 11 is to do something kind for other people (or at least for one person). We all know people close to home who could use our help in some way.
It has occurred to me since then that we — who recently have not had our city and our lives devastated by an earthquake and a hurricane — could donate money on September 11 for the people in Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Uganda who are having to decide which child(ren) to leave behind to die, as they try to get one or more children to water and food, fleeing the drought that has been killing them for a decade.
I suppose that most New Yorkers, on September 11 and adjacent days, will be enjoying life as much as possible, with friends and loved ones. And I think that’s a good thing to do on any day.