14 December 2011

After the terror of 9/11, "Peace on Earth" was a calling for Beverly Eckert, not just a greeting card phrase

Peace does not just happen. It takes hard work. Whether it is the calm and contentment within each human soul, or the state of good relations among the countries of the world, peace does not just happen.

After 9/11, Beverly Eckert thought deeply about what kind of person she wanted to be, and what kind of world she wanted to live in. And despite the horrific violence and hate that touched her life in the deepest and most painful way, taking from her the man she loved, Beverly took the path of peace, of forgiveness, of tolerance. True, she worked tirelessly on the political arena to make sure the terrible losses of 9/11 would never be visited upon Americans again. But she also decided that in the long term we must all find a way to solve our larger problems without the use of force. So she joined September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows.

I'll discuss her work with this group in my book, of course, but I thought it appropriate that I mention Beverly's calling as peacemaker during this season in which peace is especially celebrated. On a regular basis I look online to see if there's anything new to be found about Beverly, whether an article, an anecdote, or a photo. This morning I spent some time on the Peaceful Tomorrow's web site because I discovered a page devoted to Beverly's participation in the organization. There was no information there that was new to me, but there were some wonderful photos I had not seen before. Beverly is smiling in each one, happy in the company of other 9/11 family members who decided that the only answer to hatred and violence is peace, justice and love.

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