Observing the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks
Battling jetlag and saudades for our wonderful Faiths Act Fellows colleagues, we headed back to the San Francisco Interfaith Council (SFIC) after an illuminating month in London. We returned to the Council with expanded world consciousnesses, a deeper dedication to interfaith social justice work, a global community, and an excitement for the year that even San Francisco’s infamous fog could not dampen!
Immediately, we were able to play a role in an observance of the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks that was organised by SFIC, the San Francisco Opera and the Mayor’s Office. Like many cities around the US, San Francisco was in the midst of trying to cope with the 10th anniversary, remember, honour, and reflect.
Unlike many cities around the US, however, the Mayor's office called upon our host organisation, SFIC, to convene the civic observance for the entire city. Not only was this a huge honour, but represented a fundamental truth: even in what many describe as a “secular city,” the role of faith communities in the days, months, and years following 9/11 has been invaluable.
The horrific aftermath of 9/11 – discrimination, stereotyping, and prejudice in our nation assisted in making interfaith work a necessity for our future. Our city sent a powerful message of unity to its citizens at the event. It is hard to describe what a moving experience it was to see the leaders of many faith traditions stand up and offer prayers together.
We hope to carry this message of compassion and understanding with us throughout the year, and incorporate it into our daily practices of social justice.