If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other. -Mother Teresa
On September 11, 2001 I don't think anyone thought about what the 10th Anniversary would be like. People I talk with about September 11th don't talk about the 10th Anniversary, they talk about what happened 10 years ago. We remember where we were, what happened, who we knew who was in New York or working in the Pentagon, or even whom we knew who was supposed to have been in the towers that day, or what story someone just read about the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania. We talk about the cloud, the dust, the stench. We tell the graphic, personal stories told amongst friends--the real stories of 9/11. We remember who in our group of friends took the first vacation or flight after 9/11, and we remember who hasn't flown since.
Sitting in rehearsal today, I noticed I'm not thinking about the future, I'm thinking about 10 years ago. I'm thinking about all the memories I haven't thought of for 10 years. I realized I have avoided thinking consciously about 9/11. And now, at the service of everyone at 9.11.11 - United We Stand tomorrow, I am forced to remember things I don't want to remember.
And that is the turning point--who am I to not want to remember? Who am I to not want to face the waves of emotions that tomorrow brings? There is work to be done. As musicians, performers, clergy, volunteers, we are at the service of those who do choose to remember. We are at the service of those who need to grieve. We are at the service of honoring the innocence that was lost, the people who are now deceased, the knowledge we have gained since, the truth that now stares us in the face. We are at the service of our neighbors, our brothers and sisters, because we are all created equal. We are at the service of grief itself, for when we've accepted our grief, we find out what wisdom is waiting for us on the other side.
This is a high calling for musicians, to be the ones who comfort those who grieve, to be the catalysts for their grieving process. We must remember first, so we can literally create the program to assist those who are grieving. We must face what needs to be faced and create the service that follows. We must lead the way to a better place. We must carry the vision for peace.
It is truly an honor to be of service to all the brothers and sisters in this world, for we must step up and be the first ones to change, to anticipate what will exist beyond grief. We must be the change we wish to see.
Music doesn't lie. If there is something to be changed in this world, then it can only happen through music. -Jimi Hendrix