Thursday, September 11, 2008

A new way to remember

As all of my American friends know, today is September 11. I got to commemorate the anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks in a pretty unique way that I'd like to take a minute to share with you.
Over the past few days, I've made friends from Afghanistan, Iraq, and every corner of Europe, so an outburst of American nationalism hardly seemed appropriate. Instead, my co-year Andy took the initiative and had everyone meet around 9:30 pm at “the Circle,” a sort of stone amphitheater where we like to hang out. Andy spoke about his memories of what happened on that day in 2001, about how we mourned the loss of businesspeople, firefighters, family, and friends, and about how our young minds began to ask questions about hatred, patriotism, and our own safety. He also focused on how much hope it's brought him to come here to a UWC where we can love without borders...if only our countries could do the same! After that, we joined hands and I said a prayer that the families still hurting from that day would be able to go on, that the civilians suffering from war in Afghanistan and Iraq would see peace and an end to the destruction SOON, that politicians from every country would forget their plots and plans and remember their humanity and the people they represent, and that we as students would have hearts of compassion and be willing to do whatever it takes to have peace among ourselves and among our countries. Then, we took a moment to reflect on the tragedies our various countries have suffered while Andy reloaded the batteries in his flashlight. :) He played a revised version of “Sing” by the Dresden Dolls on his guitar. One of the lines of the song is, “There is thing keeping everyone's lungs and lips locked. It is called fear and it's seeing a great renaissance.” But tonight, there was no fear, just hope, hugs and kisses, and maybe a few tears. I have to be the past few days there have been times I've wanted to give up on this whole UWC thing and head home. It may never be easy, but the unity I had a taste of tonight is worth great sacrifices! It gives me courage to dream about how far we can go with some determination and humility. And I can't think of a better way to pay tribute.


Jessica said...

WOW!!!!! This is beautiful! I will be replying soon to your message...just took some time to pray over what you said. I'm praying for you today.

Andy said...

Haha Leah. This was really nice of you. But you did do your part as well; it definitely wasn't all me. I hope everything's going well with you.

Abriey said...

I have been keeping up with you but couldn't comment. I had to have Audrey help me get an account to post. Your Sept. 11 tribute was touching. You are impacting many lives by being there and living out your life in front of this international community. Sorry you have had moment of wanting to hang it up. I pray you are encouraged today. December break is just around the corner. Be encouraged!

Chris Rupprecht said...

In the midst of the political "fervor" that we find ourselves in here in America right now, it would be refreshing if our politicians were as mature and "human" as a handful of 17 and 18 year-olds in a corner of a forgotten country. If only our so-called "Christian-Republicans" could understand the heart of Christ as this. What can we do? For now, we pray and try to bring an underground kingdom to the darkest places.

jane m. said...

Hey Leah-
I've been meaning to write since you last posting. What struck me about the Memorial you and Andy led was that it seemed more meaningful than anything we expereinced here. Its seems like you took the fear and confusion of 9/11 and tried to makae it constructive. Your prayer, asking for peace in all our hearts, was beautiful. thanks so much for sharing this.