By Shawn StJean
A dozen years is barely long enough to see a child born in 2001 to middle school today in the US. Let us, as we remember our fallen brothers and sisters on the twelfth anniversary of their deaths, also be mindful of the words of Jim Casy in Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath: “I wouldn’t pray just for an old man that’s dead, ’cause he’s alright. If I was to pray, I’d pray for folks that’s alive and don’t know which way to turn.” Remember the living twelve-year-olds all over the world, whether they dwell under threat of chemical weapons by their own governments, or bombs and invasion from foreign ones. Remain mindful of our own twelve-year-olds, who look to us as role models for how to treat others: as enemies to be feared and hated only as a final resort; but more often, rather, as fellow human beings who, like all of us, are deeply flawed and damaged. Reflect that war, whether conducted by terrorists or under internationally sanctioned police actions, never raised a single man, woman, or child up–it has only laid them low. And if you would pray, pray for the guidance that makes us wiser than we were yesterday.