Multi-faith vigil in Palo Alto honors 9/11 victims with peace and unity

Lauren Martinez Image
Tuesday, September 12, 2023
Multi-faith 9/11 vigil in Palo Alto shares 'common message of peace'
People from different faiths in Palo Alto came together in peace and friendship to honor 9/11 victims and their families.

PALO ALTO, Calif. (KGO) -- People from different faiths came together in peace and friendship to honor 9/11 victims and their families.

Lights lit up the night outside Palo Alto City Hall on Monday evening.

A multi-faith gathering brought reverends, rabbis, pastors and more to share prayers.

Reverend Diana Gibson is the coordinator for Multifaith Voices for Peace & Justice, one of the sponsors for the event.

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"We're really trying to take a tragedy and say rather than responding with more tragedy i.e. violence and fear let's respond by getting to know each other," Gibson said.

This is an annual event started by the American Muslim Voice Foundation.

Omar Raza was the emcee.

"I think the main point is to show that what separates us is very, very minuscule as to what unites us and we just want to show that all these different faiths and all these different traditions all have a common message of peace," Raza said.

For Mountain View High School student Naiel Chaudry, this event has become a tradition.

"I was particularly like grown up around my own faith around Pakistani Muslims but it's really cool to interact with other people from other faiths and learn about their cultures and their faiths," Chaudry said. "Although we're all different in our ways we're all a part of the human race so we should keep that in common."

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One of the speakers included Reverend Ray Montgomery, the executive director of a faith-based organization called People Acting in Community Together, or PACT.

He talked about the significance of an African greeting Sawubona and Sikhona.

"I see you, therefore I value you," Montgomery said.

Event organizer Samina Sundas said if the families of victims from September 11th can find goodwill in others, so can they.

"To me, if they can do it after losing their loved ones none of us have any reason not to build peace," Sundas said.

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