Lessons on Forgiveness

It seems the start of the school year is also a time in which the most traumas in the N. American nation can be charted: Sept. 11, the crash of the AA flight a few days later, the shooting at the Amish school, and now the noose hanging incident. The list no doubt goes on. But unlike the anniversary of 9/11 when the media was flooded with the calling of the names and discussion of the war effort, the Amish are marking an unprecedented tragedy with forgiveness and community building. There will be no public gnashing of teeth, no cries for vengeance, just a simple school closing for the day and the ongoing commitment to heal themselves and reach out to heal others who have survived similar tragedies.

To those who lost loved ones in the towers or later to the massive volunteer effort turned medical failure by the government, I would never demean your pain. I believe that the public memorial, with the calling of names, was an opportunity to come together and refocus our nation’s energy where it belongs, on the victims, the survivors, the acts of courage and compassion, in other words, a chance to build community and work on healing.

If General Patreaus’ admission that the war has nothing to do with 9/11 and his inability to confirm that the war has made N. Americans any safer did not help you stop and reflect on how we could have been then and what we can do now, perhaps this article about the Amish survivors of the Oct. 3 school massacre will help lead the way.

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