The Pilgrimage

September 11, 2006, was the fifth anniversary of the tragedy in New York. It was also the 100th anniversary of Mohandas Gandhi’s first nonviolent protest in South Africa. Interfaith Paths to Peace in Louisville, Kentucky, organized a pilgrimage to recognize both at once.

About 50 people began a silent walk at Gethsemani, at the home of the late Thomas Merton, a Catholic monk who tried to follow the example of Gandhi. They walked for four days to downtown Louisville. The weather was poor. About three miles from the finish, a lot of us who could not walk for four days joined the walk in silence.

In the meditation, a prayer came to me. When we got to the park at the end of the pilgrimage, there were over 2,000 people. I gave my prayer:

Dear God, Father and Mother of us all: those of us who have fought in war have a special need for Thy mercy and Thy forgiveness for we have killed Thy children. Help those who would follow in the path of Martin Luther King Jr. and Mohandas Gandhi. Amen.

The Amens came reverberating back.