I’ve been mulling over for days on what to write for the letter R. Nothing clicked. Then today rolled around. I’d like to say it is important simply because it is my mother’s birthday. Sadly, that is not the only reason.
I think it is important to remember the tragedy of 9/11. It is a milestone, however ugly, for the United States. A lot of people lost their lives for simply being American. A lot of people lost their lives for simply helping in the after math. A lot of people died simply because they were at the fateful spot at the appointed time. A lot of people have on going health, mental or emotional issues simply because of the events on this day. On this day, the tragedy of religious extremism was brought home to Americans. We need to remember it because our lives changed that day.
We need to remember it so that we can make the world better by refusing to become the extremists. “Nothing to excess” says the Delphic Maxim. Extremism no matter the belief, whether religious or political, is unacceptable. This day ought to remind Republicans and Democrats, Christians, Pagans and Muslims the horrors of going too far. The horrors of placing ideology above humanity.
We need to remember this day because it reminds us that we are mortal (“Think as a mortal” is another Delphic Maxim along with “Help your friends” and “Control your anger”. Actually, many of the Maxims are especially appropriate for this day.) and that life can be cut tragically short. Treasure every moment of your life. Show appreciation for your loved ones. Say what you mean and do what you say. Do what you love and love what you do. Be the best that you can be. Live, love, laugh, learn and harm as few as possible.
I think this quote from Sannion’s blog is very apt…
“The presence of the gods will not shelter us from bad things happening, because it can’t: bad things are just a part of physical existence. Because they were mortals even Sarpedon, Aeneas, Melampos and Antony had to taste of death, despite being well-loved by the gods. What the presence of the gods does is help us heal and grow stronger, help us pick up the broken pieces and form them into something beautiful and meaningful. Bad things are trials that make us wiser, stronger, more compassionate and creative. They are the fuel of evolution that helps us to reach our full potential as human beings. It gives value to our experiences. I look at the face of my beloved and I know there’s a chance she won’t be here tomorrow. But now, in this moment, she is here with me and so I will show her how much I value her, never letting an opportunity to express that love go by unanswered. That is the heart of Pagan theology – recognizing the fragile and ephemeral nature of existence and celebrating it as much as you can, while you can.“
A Prayer of Remembrance
Today I remember the events of 9/11.
I pray to the Gods of earth, sea and sky and humbly ask for your blessings.
I pray the victims found comfort in the halls of their ancestors.
I pray for those left behind to find solace and healing.
I pray that those who aided the survivors be blessed with an abundance of good.
May we all learn to see beyond past hatreds so that we may share a peaceful future.
May those who would kill in the name of religion find better ways to honor their Gods.
May we be freed of the effects of fundamentalism, from wherever it might come.
May we all learn the grace of living with those different from ourself.
I pray to the Gods and Goddesses, to the beloved ancestors,
Look upon Your children here and aid us in building a better future.