A peace march in Florence
By Illene Pevec
I participated in a candlelight peace march on Monday, Oct. 23 in Florence, Italy. The Catholic priest at San Miniato, a church built in 1018 on one of the highest hills in Florence, organized the march in collaboration with a Rabbi, an Imam, Florence’s mayor and the governor of Tuscany along with several civil society groups. No flags were allowed and no one tried to say or do anything political. This was a march for peace prayers. I was grateful to unite with so many people for such an important cause, peace for all people.
Only the priest spoke and this was intentional to not have anything said to cause political reactions. He made everyone laugh by acknowledging the dinner hour in which we gathered in the dark with the rising moon and apologized to the crowd for not having the ability to divide loaves and fishes.
Why Florence? It lies between the Ukraine-Russia war to the northeast and the Israel/Hamas conflict to the southeast. I went to university in Florence for two quarters in 1968, and I return whenever I can to this place of great beauty. We walked from a bridge on the Arno to San Miniato, a big uphill climb. My candle lasted all the way and I hope all of the prayers will last and continue. Please add your prayers for peaceful solutions to be found and created. Peace comes from people united inwardly for the well being of all.
By Rick Davis
I had this neighbor
who I had not met.
Some of his family
perhaps knew some of mine, but time has not been so generous,
and the memories are long forgotten.
My neighbor and his family were crazy,
as well were mine,
neither side wanted nothing less than
total destruction of the other.
I had this neighbor,
I did not know,
Yet I desired his death.
In some moments
I question this,
Because it is the way of things,
it always was,
and so it is.
I have this friend,
he used to be my enemy, but as we buried the last of our family, across the way our eyes met,
I saw his tears
And he saw mine.
We laid down our weapons and wept in each other’s arms.