September 21st is The INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE. Here's how to celebrate....link to the United Nations.
I am remembering an extraordinary morning I spent at a New Jersey high school after September 11th with Donna Gaffney of the International Trauma Studies Program and another therapist.
We were there to conduct a writing workshop to help students use fiction to process grief and trauma. We talked about how a fictional character must embody truth to be real, and we directed them to create a character that had been touched by the 9-11 tragedy.
"Where are you right now?" I asked them. "Find the voice."
I am still amazed at the vividness of the characters they created — a forty year- old priest devastated over the loss of his mother, a Windows on the World restaurant worker who died in the attack; a young boy just here from another country who watched the towers fall and struggled to tell the story in broken English; two sisters lying in bed talking and trying to make sense of it; a boy wondering where his father was. All of these were fictional characters, but they were alive with the grief, anger, and fear we were all feeling back then. Most of us were in tears by the third hour when the students read their stories aloud. I've thought often of those students — their courage, their giftedness, their honesty.
Back then, we were raw. I'm not raw anymore. I am resolute. On this ninth anniversary of September 11th, I feel the call to peace not as something to contemplate, but as something to do. Gandhi said, "Be the change you want to see in the world." I've adapted that to, "Be the peace you want to see in the world." And while being a peacemaker can seem daunting, I offer Mother Teresa's quiet suggestion on how to start. "A smile," she wrote, "is the beginning of peace."
The 2010 rose poster was photographed and designed by my daughter Jean. Please download it, use it, and spread the word.
Be the peace...Joan
Blog post: "Shade"
"Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal."
"It isn't enough to talk about peace, one must believe it. And it isn't enough to believe in it, one must work for it."
"I'd like to believe that people in the long run are going to do more to promote peace than our governments. Indeed, I think that people want peace so much that one of these days governments had better get out of the way and let them have it."
"But peace does not rest in the charters and covenants alone. It lies in the hearts and minds of all people. So let us not rest all our hopes on parchment and on paper, let us strive to build peace, a desire for peace, a willingness to work for peace in the hearts and minds of all of our people. I believe that we can."
"All works of love are works of peace."
CURRICULUM UPDATE: Nine lessons plans for elementary to high school classes have been created by the 4 Action Committee and are now available through their partnership with 911dayofservice.org.
WHITE FLAGS PROJECT: Last year this page reported on artist Aaron Fein's tribute to peace (see archives). "It began as an expression of grief about 9-11," Fein says, "but it turned into a message about the future."
FEATURED RESOURCE: The September 11 Digital Archive uses electronic media to collect, preserve, and present the history of the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York, Virginia, and Pennsylvania, as well as the public responses to them. http://911digitalarchive.org/
From the short story, "Children of War" by Joan Bauer,
We are left with the images that we will never forget.
From the National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement
The seeds of this page began in 2008 at a conference at the Liberty Science Center. The museum, along with the Families of September 11 and the New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education, brought together educators, scientists, therapists, nurses, physicians, writers, and politicians to discuss how to teach about 9-11 and terrorism. My continued thanks to them.
If you have broached this subject of 9/11 and terrorism with your students in the past, have lesson plans you would consider sharing, or just want to comment, we'd love to hear from you. Write us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"...schools not only reflect 'official knowledge', but
contribute to shaping it..."
Dr. Diana Hess
Dr. Diana Hess
"Curriculum Dr. Paul Winkler
Dr. Paul Winkler
"September 11 should not only 'be a day for mourning' — it should be a day to think about our neighbors, our community, and our country."
Sen. Chuck Schumer (NY)
Sen. Chuck Schumer (NY)
9/11 is a National Day of Service.
Or click on the links below for service opportunities:
copyright 2010 Joan Bauer