Sunday, February 16, 2003 Jews and
Palestinians from all six Bay Area Dialogues walked with 200,000 others in San
Francisco to insist on alternatives to war in the Middle East.
Millions of citizens worldwide, in hundreds of cities, similarly called for collaboration over confrontation.
See the photos at http://www.shutterfly.com/osi.jsp?i=67b0de21b336deb665ae
Appreciate American history being re-directed -- diverse, responsible citizens coming together in advance of violence as never before.
Unprecedented numbers of mainstream families and children.
Groups who previously stayed to themselves, or stood only for their narrow interests.
People who could hardly walk or couldn't walk.
Or barely breath, pulling their oxygen tanks behind them.
Choosing human unity, understanding the alternative is no life at all.
The day was a prayer for human
unity going around Earth at the speed of spirit and of the Internet.
From the beginning, there was a Muslim call to prayer, two rabbis' blessings, a cantor's voice appealing for our highest, Christian guidance, and Buddhist wisdom.
Two days earlier, the Jewish Bulletin of Northern California featured Rabbi Patricia Karlin-Neumann's column: "Jewish tradition can't justify a pre-emptive strike on Iraq." You can read it at:
The rabbi concluded: "If we are to value each human life, if we are to bring to fruition an era in which tolerance and understanding reign, we cannot do so through pre-emptive war, discretionary war or political violence. We can do so only by measuring the value of human life, Iraqi lives as well as American lives, and by remembering the dreams of those on the cusp of doing something significant for humanity."
Millions of citizens circling
Earth did "something significant for humanity" this weekend.
They helped history take a distinct turn more into The Peoples' Century.
That's how we'll describe yesterday to our five-year-old grandson when he's old enough to understand.
And we'll tell him about the placard a woman brought to the day: "War is SOOO last century."