Multi-faith 'Peace Picnic' held in Palo Alto to honor victims of 9/11

People from multiple faiths gathered in Palo Alto in remembrance of 9/11. The American Muslim Voice Foundation sponsored the event and says this day should remind us all to focus on peace.  

Hundreds of people gathered at City Hall on Monday to remember the victims of 9/11. They called it a Peace Picnic, and they told stories about unity, sang songs and talked about what we all can do to eliminate hate in the community and around the world.  

On this September 11th, the American Muslim Voice Foundation held a multi-faith peace ceremony in remembrance of those who lost their lives on in the terrorist attack of 2001. 

"What we are trying to do is change this negative day into one of community and peace building," said Samina Sundas, American Muslim Voice Foundation.   

Palo Alto Mayor Lydia Kou opened the program speaking of community togetherness. Those in attendance were also asked to put their arms around the person next to them, before a moment of silence. Leaders from multiple faiths including Christian, Jewish and Muslim faiths spoke of building a world around peace instead of war.  

"Let’s build a vision together. One that we can share and work upon. One that we can understand. Though all different, let us see what we share in common. Then respect and honor the difference," said Rev. Burke Owens, First United Methodist Church of Palo Alto.     

"We gather to honor those beautiful precious lives and at the same time say no to protests their death, to say that doesn’t have to be the way we respond," said Dr. Diana Gibson, with Multi-faith Voices for Peace & Justice.  

Founder of American Muslim Voice Foundation Samina Sundas was also presented with a Proclamation for her peace efforts from State Senator Dave Cortese. Through performances and encouragement from community leaders, their message was clear: come together, get to know other people and create a world that will not allow another tragedy like the attacks on September 11th.   

"We begin to see one another and in seeing one another, we begin to know one another. When you know someone, it’s almost impossible to hate, to offend, to other," said Rev. Ray Montgomery,  Executive Director of PACT (People Acting in Community Together).      

American Muslim Voice Foundation says these peace picnics have been duplicated all over the country since 9/11, and they’ll continue to promote peace and unity around the world.   


Remembering 9/11 in the Bay Area

Community members and political leaders on Monday remembered what happened on 22 years ago on Sept. 11, 2011, in somber services across the Bay Area.