‘Walking peacefully on Earth is the real miracle’

Published 11:00 pm Friday, July 15, 2016

“There is a peculiar horror in the attack in Nice, which has killed at least 84 men, women and children.”

So said The Guardian on Friday, less than 24 hours after a terrorist plowed a truck filled with explosives down a crowded promenade in the French resort town, leaving a trail of bodies in his wake.

For more than mile, Mohamed Bouhlel barreled his truck in a zigzag path down a crowded Nice promenade, aiming directly for children, for mothers pushing strollers and for families cowering behind plastic benches.

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When he was done, the Tunisian deliveryman had killed 84 people, including two Americans, and injured more than 200 more.

Massive casualties all caused by one man – not with guns and weapons, but with a delivery truck – in a peculiarly horrific incident. While no terrorist group has yet claimed responsibility for Thursday’s attack, experts proffer that this was yet another lone wolf attack – inspired to act, even if not directed by anyone.

And that becomes doubly horrific. In the wake of San Bernadino, California; Orlando, Florida; and now Nice, France, we see how these rouge terrorists – inspired by a caliphate and fueled by hate – can strike at any time, at any place. The realization shakes our security to the core and once again reminds us that our world is increasingly dangerous.

We cannot fight hate with hate; and we cannot cower in fear or isolation. But we must find a way to stand up – as a nation and as a global village – against these individuals whose hate fuels terror. We must fight – whether Christian or Jew, Muslim or atheist – to protect the dignity of all human life and against the evil that seeks to gain power through death and destruction.

Vietnamese Buddhist and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh summed up the challenges we face today so very well. “People say walking on water is a miracle, but to me walking peacefully on Earth is the real miracle.”

We should all pray for the miracle of peace.