We know about 9/11. Not only is it recent, but shocking images of the attack on the Twin Towers flashed around the globe. Not so well remembered, 11/9, Krystallnacht (Night of Broken Glass), spread similar terror in Germany and Austria. Masses of innocent Jewish people suddenly found themselves under attack. Many lost their lives; and their property was destroyed – synagogues, businesses, even homes.
Yet searing as those images are, burning buildings do not imprint these memories on our minds so much as the hate behind them. We in the United States now feel the pain of being the victims of hate fueled by prejudice. It incites us to spot and reject bigotry wherever it arises in any form… and to aspire to world peace with renewed intensity.
These mirror-image dates could serve as Twin Turret bookends for a 60-day period, not unlike Lent, when we commit ourselves to eradicating prejudice in our own hearts and minds and in our society. A spiritual discipline, it will call for heightened self-awareness, contrition, and the courage to speak up against expressions of bigotry.
Too insignificant? Remember that often-cited quote of Margaret Mead’s: “A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”