To the editor:
A few weeks ago, I was reflecting with a friend about the 9/11 commemoration at the Dole Institute. I shared with her that over 400 attendees heard opening remarks from university and community dignitaries. The harmony of the community choir helped set the theme as two survivors articulated their respective accounts of the darkest day at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Local first responders were recognized as representatives of the brave men and women who gave their relentless energy and sacrificed their lives. A memorial wreath representing the five sides of the Pentagon was displayed as the roll call of the nations was read. Representatives of 11 religions read reflective texts, scriptures and prayers. The lyrics of the music, the moments of silence, and the words of hope were poignant with inspiration. The Interfaith Dialogue planning committee and numerous sponsors hosted this community event, which was excellent, truly representing diversity, ethnicity, gender and age.
Yet, what I continue to hear in my soul are the voices of the younger generation who were courageous enough to articulate their core faith values. I have a deep appreciation for children and youth who are making a positive difference in their homes, schools and communities of faith. The young spokespersons — Mina Kosh, Sadra Gerami, Nora Byers, Alexandra Hoopes, and Jessica Mielke — articulated with utmost clarity. I want to publicly commend them for their time, energy and passion for sharing from their heart to the hearts of all the attendees.