Our church participated in "International Peace Day" today. Many of the churches in our city have banded together to make this a memorable event. As part of our church's participation, I was asked to speak on the subject of "Finding Peace". I used as a basis for my talk, and article written by the president of our church, Thomas S. Monson, entitled "Finding Peace". We had some special musical numbers by the choir, and two other speakers.
When we first planned this event, some of us were a little uncomfortable with having this event on 9/11. We feared that some people might think that it deterred from the tragedy aspect of 9/11. But as I prepared my talk, and focused on how we can find peace, even in the midst of turmoil, I think it really helped me to commemorate the day better.
I remember that morning ten years ago. My husband had awoken before me, and turned on the television. He woke me up to tell me about the two planes that had crashed in to the world trade center buildings. We watched for awhile, unable to believe what we were watching. While I continued to watch the news coverage, my husband went to take a shower. It was while he was in the shower that the first tower fell. I remember being a little bit in shock, and not fully comprehending what I was seeing. I couldn't comprehend how many lives were just lost. I called out to my husband, and he ran in to see for himself. We were in total disbelief. He continued to get ready for work, and during that time the second tower fell. We felt devastated.
This past week I have been watching television documentaries about 9/11. It has been horrible to think about all of the lives that were lost, but it has been amazing to watch the strength of human character that was exhibited during that time. One of the things that impressed me most was that because some people chose to sacrifice their lives to help others, that inspired those they had helped to reach out and help others themselves. The stories of heroism and determination are what I want most to remember about that fateful day.
The true day for celebrating International Peace day is scheduled for Sept. 21. But I'm glad I could be part of our city's celebration today. And it reconfirmed to me that God is the true source of peace that "surpasseth all understanding". My prayers are with those who suffered and lost loved ones that day.