Pray for peace

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 15, 2003

We heard calls for calm and for peace on Saturday, as our president urged Americans to try and remain stalwart in the face of new threats and around the world, protestors marched for peace instead of war.

Yet, the drums of war sound as America edges closer to a military showdown with Iraq. And Americans, living under the unsettling reality of a heightened alert status, try to eke out normal lives despite the constant reminders of terrorist threats.

It is a difficult time in our history, and a pivotal one.

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Our lives are changing daily

and the reality of the dangers of our world edge closer.

Locally, law enforcement officials are urging caution and vigilance. President Bush, in his weekly radio address, called on Americans to remain calm and to trust the law enforcement and national security officers, whom he said &uot;will track down every lead&uot; in an attempt to thwart terrorists. He acknowledged that Americans are anxious, saying &uot;many of these dangers are unfamiliar and unsettling.&uot;

Locally, the police have encouraged all of us to remain alert; to notice anything out of the ordinary; to question, to report, to err on the side of caution.

And, perhaps most useful of all, local pastors of all faiths are urging us to pray. As the Rev. Ed Walters points out, we can do little to control the fate of this impending war. It is likely to happen, and just as assuredly we are likely to face reactions in the form of retaliatory attacks by terrorists. But we can control our thoughts

and our prayers. We can pray for the men and women called to fight; for their families left behind in America; for our government's leaders, who must call on wisdom in their decision-making; for the innocent people in Iraq; for the leaders of other countries across the world, whose actions and comments will influence the fate of millions.

Regardless of our faith, we can pray - for strength and comfort in the days to come and for peace.