None Shall Be Afraid

10 Sep

The other day my oldest daughter, Melissa, and I were talking about all the 9/11 commemorative activities happening this weekend, and her comment was “Why do we have to be so sad about it?”

My reply was along the lines of “We’re not necessarily sad, but we are somber and respectful.”

She had a good point though. Yes, the 9/11 disaster was deeply saddening, horrific, and painful. None of us will ever forget where we were or what we were doing the moment we heard about the Twin Towers. The same way those alive when Kennedy was shot will never forget that moment. It was a singular moment that changed our lives, even if we didn’t know anyone who died or survived.

I mean, because of that day, our country has spent trillions of dollars going to war. The political climate has changed. The economy has changed. Even I, a peaceful pacifist, was happy when Osama bin Laden was captured and killed.

But now, ten years later, what are we supposed to make of all this? Is sadness still our base mode? Anger? War making?

I hope not. I hope we remember and, through our remembrance, act to bring peace to the world.

My friend, Dr. Paul Aitken, composed a moving piece of music a few years ago. It’s called “And None Shall Be Afraid: a Plea for Peace in Five Movements.” Paul’s music is haunting, reverent, and uplifting. The words for each movement are taken from five different religious traditions, all with the message of peace, hope, and love.

This Sunday, on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, a choir and orchestra made up of a diverse group from our community in Boise will perform this amazing work. Please, if you want to commemorate the day and look with hope to the future, attend this concert. It will be held at 3:00 p.m. at the Cathedral of the Rockies in downtown Boise. The concert is free, but a suggested donation of $10 per ticket will help defer costs. All proceeds will be donated to the Sanctuary homeless shelter.

I guarantee this concert will stick with your heart and touch you deeply. And I hope that it moves us all to look for opportunities to make peace.


Posted by on September 10, 2011 in Idaho


6 responses to “None Shall Be Afraid

  1. Janis

    September 10, 2011 at 7:08 AM

    Neysa, the concert is a wonderful way to commemorate 9/11. Music hath charms to soothe the savage breast.

    I was walking in the halls of my junior high school during class switch when the the PA system came on. That, in itself, was strange. The principal announced that JFK had been assassinated.

    I was at work at Boise State when we heard about the first plane on 9/11. Then, that it was deliberate. I remember thinking, “That’s it. Everything’s changed.”

    Thank you for the thoughtful blog.

  2. Liz Fredericks

    September 10, 2011 at 7:47 AM

    I like the idea of thinking in terms of a catalyst for peace. I was teaching an early slate political science class – introduction to public administration. We hard about the first plane as we were walking in and the second during. I didn’t lecture; we talked. I had exceptional students in that class and remember every face, every comment, every nuance of that morning.

  3. Clarissa Southwick

    September 10, 2011 at 9:16 AM


    Thank you for a thoughtful blog. As I was reading this, I kept think about tone and how important it is. In writing and in real life, it’s always a good idea to step back and think about the tone of our discourse.

    On 9/11, we were preparing for my sister’s wedding on the fifteenth. I had a houseful of relatives who had just made the long trip by road. My husband and I decided not to wake them. There was a really long period where we just stood speechless, glued to the television.

    I’ll always remember when my sister did woke up later in the morning, she said something like,”Wow. It sure is quiet out here. What’s the matter? Did the world end while I was sleeping?” And I told her, “Yeah, I think it did.” Then she woke everyone else, and it was chaos while we tried to figure out what to do about the wedding and how to get everyone back home.

    A few years ago, Mad Men did an episode on the Kennedy assassination and one of the characters was getting married that day. For me, it was like reliving 9/11. I think they got the tone exactly right.

  4. Mary Vine

    September 10, 2011 at 4:08 PM

    I remember the death of JFK, Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King and the aftermath on TV. Terror has changed over the years hasn’t it?

  5. Peggy Staggs

    September 11, 2011 at 12:22 PM

    You’re right. It is one of a very few days (outside of family) that I can point to and say that changed my life. The Kennedy assassination, the first landing on the moon, and 9-11. I’m still saddened by it. My heart still breaks for the souls lost so needlessly, and for their families.

  6. Lynn Mapp

    September 12, 2011 at 7:43 PM

    Yes, that day was a defining moment. What I remember the most is how the basic goodness of people was spotlighted on that day. We may shake our heads at people’s actions, but that day…I saw so many heros.


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