A New Chapter

A New Chapter

A Buddhist monk holding his ribbon of hope
On Sunday night, when I got off the train near Ground Zero to attend a 9/11 multifaith ceremony, I walked right into an anti-Muslim protest.

Two hundred people cheered on speakers who warned of sharia law and the Muslim invasion.  Their signs read: “Mohammad was a terrorist.”

A moment later, their eyes were on us — we looked like their enemies — and my throat caught.  I cried, and walked away.

But when I finally got to the ceremony, I saw why we did this together.  Four times as many people had gathered at Pier 40 for an evening of multifaith prayers, meditations, and music. Twin towers of light shone from the NYC skyline as we set Buddhist lanterns floating on the Hudson.

We were among thousands of people in more than 400 events in 97 cities in nearly every state in the country who gathered in the spirit of remembrance, renewal, and religious diversity.  Our tapestry of ribbons reflects the groundswell — 10,000 Ribbons of Hope woven into a stunning monument thanks to our partners at Prepare New York. Click here for pictures of the 9/11 Ribbons of Hope.

I hope that you had a moment of peace and reflection yesterday — and that your spirit was restored by community, as mine was, wherever you were.

What happens now?

Today marks the first day of a new chapter in our country’s history.  We’re ready to support a groundswell of faith and moral communities committed to write the next chapter ourselves and respond together to our greatest challenges — including immigration, economic justice, religious freedom, climate justice, LGBT equality, and sex trafficking.

It’s not too late to send a Ribbon of Hope — we’re turning it into a moving monument to float through NYC this year. Click here to send a ribbon Ribbon of Hope.