The 10th anniversary of 9/11 means something different to everyone. More importantly it has changed the lives, thoughts, and beliefs of many.
Sunday marked the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11. While the New York 9/11 memorial opened to the public, Drake University and the Des Moines community had their own Interfaith Dialogue to remember and recognize Sept. 11. Sunday’s program appropriately read the words “All are welcome”.
Sunday’s service was hosted in Sheslow Auditorium and was hosted by four Iowa organizations as well as representatives from over seven faith communities. The group came together to host a Greater Des Moines Interfaith Service in hopes of commemorating the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11, and to create unity and understanding across faith groups.
The service was open to all students, staff and Des Moines community members. The service attracted people from across the faith spectrum to explore and reflect on how their community feels about 9/11 and its sub sequential issues. “How do we find common ground?” asked speaker Connie Terrell.
“We’ve experienced chaos, confusion, anger, fear, mistrust, hate; we mourn our own loss of innocence both individually and collectively,” said Terrell.
The Interfaith Alliance of Iowa, Des Moines Area Religious Council, the Des Moines Ecumenical Peace Committee and the American Friends Service Committee organized the commemoration. Voices from the Islamic, Christian, Jewish, Sikh, Buddhist and several other faiths were represented in the conversation.
The service progressed with an array of speakers from multiple faiths that shared their scriptures, prayers, songs, and insights into how their community strives to create peace in a world that can be so conflicted.
“Common Ground” was declared the theme for the dialogue in an attempt to help those from diverse walks of life reflect on an event that has both bonded and severed a sense of American unity.
Perhaps the most enchanting part of the service was when all of the religious representatives placed a cup of soil from their community into one common bowl. The combined dirt will be used in the building of the ‘Common Ground Memorial’.
The service was followed by an outreach reception where different faith communities made themselves available to answer student questions and to offer information on service times, transportation, and involvement in their faith community.
“We come together to remember and grieve, to acknowledge our sorrow, to mourn, and to gain strength together in community, envisioning a rich and peace-filled future,” read Sundays program.
Sunday’s service was full of prayer, meditation, music, communication and understanding. The Interfaith service was one of inspiration that showcased the bond of humanity, that while we all may have different religious beliefs, we all believe in unity.