9/11 Unity Walk

Testimonials

2013

Participant comments

– We can disagree but never disrespect the divine breath in each other.

– We have more in common than not.

– “I walk in memory of my parents.”

– “On a cultural exchange from Bangladesh. It was one of the best experiences of my life.”

2012

Terry A. Greene, Project Director, September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows: “Thank you for your work to promote the unity that our members so deeply feel is the most vital outcome to promote as a response to the attacks of 9/11.”

Rabbi Lustig, Washington Hebrew Congregation: “I am proud to host the 9/11 Unity Walk because it is one way in which we can “pray with our feet,” shining a light on each other as people who believe in the common value of all human beings and promoting the concept of service as a way to heal the world.”

2011

Posted by a father on the 911 Unity Walk Facebook page: “On our way home, my 8 year-old son said, ‘God has many houses.’ He summed it up much better than I could have, and clearly the message of the day got through to him.”

Rychlik family: “After attending the 2009 Interfaith Iftar sponsored by 9/11 Unity Walk and our first Walk that year, our family decided that there is no more important work than interfaith work and we have put our volunteer energies there, now co-chairing the 9/11 Unity Walk Steering Committee. As a result of our experience on the Walk, our kids have also organized an interfaith youth service group for teens which meets regularly for service projects to learn about each others’ faiths, together with their families.”

Charles: “From my first participation in it several years ago, I’ve always felt the Walk as a real and moving assertion of optimism, resilience, hope and healing not only in response to a specific historic event, but in the face of the larger complexities of the basic human condition itself. It gives us a chance to connect with others across our divides, and in the shared call of our higher nature. In recent years, the Walk has deepened in value, as it involves service, interfaith, and engagement opportunities year ’round, and has gone beyond a simple, one-time ‘feel good’ experience to the processes of basic and enduring connection and transformation. Each year the Walk gives us more to look forward to. May we all prove equal to its call!”

2010

Dominique: “It was a peaceful and joyful day. We were able to meet members of other faiths and learn about their traditions at open houses, see vivid examples of hospitality and partnership between different religions, stand shoulder to shoulder with others in a public show of tolerance and unity and to hear inspiring words from representatives of different religions, local, national, and international. These are the goals of the Unity Walk and it was all we had hoped for, for us and our children. We were able to, as Gandhi hoped, “be the change” we seek in this world.”

N.R., 10 years old: “I really enjoyed going to the Sikh temple, especially the martial arts demonstration”.

J.R., 5 years old: “I liked going to the mosque for the first time”.

2009

L.R., 13 years old: “My favorite part of the Unity Walk was listening to Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson speaking at the Gandhi Memorial. It was really intense listening to his stories about his grandfather.”

Mike: “In addition to providing a unique opportunity for meeting people of different faiths and visit their houses of worship, it is also a way to publicly, physically demonstrate a spirit of tolerance and understanding, something so needed today. Participating in the walk, can have a real, meaningful, impact, both inwardly and outwardly to those watching. My son, Luke, and I both attended last year and were both deeply moved by the experience. The Unity Walk is both an a-political and family-friendly event and we plan on all attending this year and want to encourage all who are able to consider participating.”

E.J., 16 years old: “The martial arts demo was really interesting. I was not expecting that at the Sikh place. I wasn’t expecting anything that I saw, I only thought that we would walk!”.

John: “It was fascinating to get a glimpse of the different religions and cultures within that one mile stretch of Massachusetts Avenue. The enticing aroma of cinnamon and cloves which infused the rice portion of the meal served by the Sikhs added to their reputation of being very gracious hosts. I knew almost nothing about the Sikhs before visiting their place of worship. Now I know they came mostly from the Punjab region of India, believe in God but have almost 500 names for God”.

 

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