Conversations by e-mail brought people together in the physical and virtual world for peace. In April, May and June peace vigils were held publicly and privately, praying for peace all over the world. Here on The Farm in Summertown, Tennessee people joined with folks in Boston, Massachusetts; Austin, Texas; Sebastopol, California; New York; Wisconsin and with people all over the world to meditate and pray for peace on Friday afternoons. It was 2:00 PM in New York, 5:00PM in Berkeley.
The bombing stopped in June. Was it our prayers or the bombing? We cannot be sure, but we do know that the prayers for peace cannot stop. The wounds in so many places are open and painful. The peaceful must pray for healing, for the violence and revenge to cease.
Alan Graf, an attorney from Portland, Oregon wrote in a letter to friends:
"I do a radio show here in Portland, and had as my guest last night an Albanian law student who had relatives in Kosovo. He has lost touch with some of them and wonders if they are still alive. He favors the bombing and thinks it will stop Milosevic from his genocide. We talked on the air and I tried to convince him that the means to the end is just as important as the end itself. He didn't see it. I understand.
"Recently, after seeing the movie, Its a Beautiful Life, I felt emotional and angry that the many Nazis had escaped punishment for what they did.
"I lost my grandparents to the ovens.
"But, in my calmer moments, I realize that somewhere, somehow, someone, has to stop the violence, stop the killing, whether it's in the skies or it's in my head."
Labor joined with The Emergency Mobilization to Stop the War to bring hundreds of thousands of people together who could say in a loud and clear voice: "Stop the bombing! Stop the war! Bring the troops, ships and planes home now! Money for jobs, health care and education, not for war!" It was supposed to happen in Washington D.C. but we didn't hear anything about it on the media or on the net. But we still prayed for peace and met in small peaceful demonstrations.
The Dalai Lama is praying for peace and the children are praying for peace. Labor unions are praying for peace and people from Canada are praying for peace. The Pope is praying for peace and you and I are praying for peace. Students of wisdom bring peace to the world. May we all reach peace together!
Ms.Barger lives at an intentional community, The Farm, in Tennessee.
Peace Brigades International will hold a training session Aug 20-26 in Indiana. Cost: U.S. $200. Contact Toronto office 416/324-9757,or <firstname.lastname@example.org>.