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Mourn 9/11 with friends and strangers at Sopris Park

Calvin Lee
Roaring Fork Peace Coalition
Carbondale

Dear Editor,

From mid-August to mid-September, there is no snow on Mount Fuji. In that one month’s time, 400,000 people climb 7,000 vertical feet, 24 hours a day, to reach the 12,388-foot summit. Ninety-six-year-old to 6- year-old people, both sexes, people of all religions, and people of all ethnic and racial origins make the grueling climb to the summit.

These pilgrims believe that it purifies your soul to see the sunrise from the top of Mount Fuji. So thousands of people climb through the night, one behind the other, with only flashlights to guide the way. Those same thousands of people sit silently and reverently at the summit in the dark waiting to see the sunrise.

There is something spiritually calming and emotionally moving about being next to so many people in the dark who you do not know but with whom you shared a difficult climb and with whom you share a common spiritual purpose.

On Sept. 11, 2002, there will be a candlelight vigil to honor and remember the victims of the 9/11 attack. All ages, and people of every religious, ethnic, racial, sexual and political orientation are invited to Sopris Park in Carbondale.

Sitting in the dark with hundreds of people who you do not know but with whom you share a common spiritual purpose has a powerful effect. When the sun comes up on Mount Fuji, people can see that others next to them are different in some way, but it doesn’t matter. Everyone went through a difficult climb to have their souls cleansed.

When the candles are lit in Sopris Park in Carbondale, it won’t matter that the people next to you are different politically, racially, religiously or otherwise; all of us have gone through 9/11 and all of us need to remember, heal and look forward to the future with hope for a non-violent world.

The ceremony in Sopris Park will begin at 5:30 p.m. with vocals and drumming by Steve Perreault and Laurie Loeb. There will be several speakers, starting off with Carbondale Mayor Michael Hassig, beginning at 6:00 p.m. Also speaking will be Glenwood Springs City Council members Dan Richardson, Jean Martensen and Rick Davis, Carbondale Trustees Russ Criswell and Scott Chaplin, Basalt Trustee Jacque Whitsitt, and Jesus Montes de Oca from Latinos Unidos. A microphone open to the public will follow.

At 7:40 p.m., there will be several songs by Lisa Dancing Light and A. O. Forbes. Lauren Martin of the Mennonite Church will give a prayer at 8:00 p.m., followed by songs from the Earth Beat Choir as candles are lit. Matt Johnson will close with a song at 8:30 p.m.

I suppose we could all grieve by sitting mesmerized on the couch watching news reruns of the attack or telecasts of the ceremony in New York City. But I prefer the power and emotion of gathering with both friends and strangers who mourn the loss of human life on 9/11 and who share a vision of a non violent world.

Calvin Lee

Roaring Fork Peace Coalition

Carbondale


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