9/11/02: One year ago, we wrote the poem "Rest in Peace" as our spiritual response to the terrorist attacks of September 11. Through a series of "I am" statements, we practiced compassion, connections, and unity with those affected by that terrible tragedy.

Since then, we have tried to pay close and prayerful attention to other tragedies and injustices occurring in our world. As we gathered images and stories, we found it very difficult not to give in to our feelings of anger and disgust at certain developments and the people behind them. But through the slow and patient practice of what we have come to know as unity consciousness, we are learning to include even our enemies in the orb of our caring. These small steps in feeling one-with-all help break down the walls that separate us from each other and from God.

September 11, 2001, connected us with the suffering of those involved in the events of that infamous day. Now for the first anniversary, we offer a new "Rest in Peace" as a call to widen the circle of our empathy and compassion. May we all know the peace that comes from recognizing that we are all part of one another.

Rest in Peace: September 11, 2002
by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

I am one who died on September 11 from the terrorist attacks, and
I am one who died since September 11 from the violence of war, floods and fires, AIDS and famine, accidents on the highways and drownings at sea, and from all other causes.
May I rest in peace.

I am one who has been deeply touched by the trauma experienced by the survivors and families of September 11 and the rescue workers who served so selflessly at Ground Zero, and
I am one who has been moved to compassion by the suffering in other tragedies since September 11 and the loss of so many valued members of our world community.
May I know peace.

I am a New Yorker still hearing media warnings of new attacks, feeling vulnerable and insecure in my hometown, and
I am an Afghan refugee still fearful that my village is not safe from the bombs and fighters in the war on terrorism.
May I know peace.

I am an Arab immigrant in the United States whose son was taken away by the FBI last September and has not been heard from since, and
I am a relative of one of the "disappeared" in Columbia or Chile or Bosnia-Herzegovina who is losing hope that I will ever find out what happened to my loved one.
May I know peace.

I am a prisoner in China held incommunicado for a political "crime," and
I am an al Qaeda detainee held without a trial or access to lawyers in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
May I know peace.

I am a deer in a Rocky Mountains forest asphyxiated by the black boiling smoke of a fire outside Denver, and
I am a goat resting in a cave in Afghanistan when an American-made "daisy cutter" bomb levels my mountain habitat.
May I rest in peace.

I am the father of a dutiful and compassionate son who was maimed while clearing mines in the fields outside Kabul, and
I am a father with two children in college who has taken a high-paying job at a plant in Minnesota that makes and exports landmines.
May I know peace.

I am a Palestinian girl killed by an Israeli missile attack while walking home from my first day of school, and
I am an Israeli boy killed by a Palestinian suicide bomber while eating at a pizzeria in downtown Jerusalem.
May I rest in peace.

I am a soil particle from Kenya's eroded farmland that has blown across the Atlantic Ocean to Florida, and
I am a tree in the world's largest virgin forest in Russia that has been chopped down illegally by loggers out to make money.
May I rest in peace.

I am a mother in the American Midwest casually washing my car and watering my lawn with the abundant water I take for granted, and
I am a mother in Pakistan whose village has so little water that I clean the dishes with dirt.
May I know peace.

I am a little girl snatched from the yard of my home in California and sexually abused, and
I am a little boy kidnapped from my home in India and forced to work long hours in a carpet-making operation as a modern-day slave.
May I know peace.

I am a young man who was abused by my parish priest and I now want justice from the church, and
I am a priest who sinned in the past and I now want forgiveness so I can continue in my ministry.
May I know peace.

I am a teenage girl sold into a prostitution ring in Thailand by my parents so they can purchase a refrigerator, and
I am a marketing expert for a multinational corporation trying to be responsible to the stockholders by creating demand for new products in developing countries.
May I know peace.

I am a 16-year-old girl in Bangladesh working 7 days a week 15 hours a day for 15 cents an hour sewing t-shirts, and
I am an unemployed American parent who is grateful I can purchase cheap clothes made overseas.
May I know peace.

I am an infant suffering from malnutrition in Baghdad, and
I am a United States government official who is convinced that economic sanctions and even a war against Iraq are the only ways to make the world safe for children everywhere.
May I know peace.

I am a financially strapped senior citizen in Maine who must go over the border to Canada to purchase the prescription drugs I need at affordable prices, and
I am a young man dying of AIDs in Africa with no access to the generic drugs that could ease my suffering.
May I know peace.

I am the chairman of a large corporation who cashed in stock worth millions while trying to keep my company out of bankruptcy, and
I am a worker in the same company who lost my job, my medical benefits, and the savings in my 401(k) pension plan.
May I know peace.

I am a Ukrainian mother who gathers berries and mushrooms for family meals from fields still contaminated with radioactive debris from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster, and
I am an American student in Massachusetts worried about my health since finding out that my school is near a toxic waste dump.
May I know peace.

I am an American businessman needing to upgrade my company's computers and cell phones in order to compete in the marketplace, and
I am a Chinese teenager who has gotten lead poisoning from working at a recycling operation handling technological trash from the United States.
May I know peace.

I am a citizen of the world, worried about the escalation of violence, the devastation of the planet, a future seemingly in jeopardy, and
I am a person of faith who believes that good things can come from people working together and who relies on the grace of God/Lord/Allah/Spirit/Higher Power.
May I know peace.

I am a child of God who believes that we are all children of God and we are all part of one another.
May we all know peace.