Peace Coalition to hold a candlelight gathering

The Columbia Peace Coalition is playing host to "A Peaceful World Is Possible" to mark the sixth anniversary of Sept. 11. The event will take place from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday at Courthouse Square.

"Our message is pretty clear, and it's one we've been consistently saying since Sept. 11, 2001," Mid-Missouri Peaceworks Director Mark Haim said. "A peaceful world is possible and that a peaceful world needs to be built on reconciliation, healing and peacemaking rather than on a foundation of war, fear and domination."

Mid-Missouri Peaceworks is a non-profit organization that is in the Columbia Peace Coalition. Peaceworks strives for social justice and an ecologically sound, sustainable world.

The event will have several guest speakers, musical guests and a silent moment for reflection, Haim said. The speakers will be psychologists Taleb Khairallah and Lara Schopp and human rights activist Iman Sandra Labadia. The musical guests will be Midwest Chocolate and Poetry in Motion, according to a news release from the Columbia Peace Coalition.

Haim said Americans need to recognize the involvement in the Middle East and the area around the Persian Gulf for the last six decades, which planted the seeds for the Sept. 11 attacks. He said Peaceworks "in no way condones" the crimes of Sept. 11, but it understands the origins of the conflict.

"Reconciliation, sustainable development and peacemaking are what we need to focus on," he said. "Don't ignore heinous crimes, but don't compound those heinous crimes by committing heinous crimes of your own."

Candles will be provided at the candlelight vigil that night. If it rains, the event will be held in the Boone County Government Center.

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