Longing for spirit of unity


Often in our national history it takes great tragedy in order to pull us together. Revolutionary crisis, World Wars, assassinations of presidents and U.S. leaders. 

In my lifetime, I’ve never experienced the unity of post 9/11 America. Congressional and governmental officials were kind to each other, partisan politics were secondary matters, and for the first time in a long time, compassion and understanding ruled the day. It didn’t last long, but what an incredible sight it was to see. 

I talked with some British visitors in Boston on our junior / senior high school trip shortly after the attacks. They mentioned how much they loved America and were praying for her people. I told them how much I appreciated Tony Blair sitting in the House gallery to hear George W. Bush’s speech. Two countries as former enemies now acting as friends.

I’m torn by what I see today. Not just partisan politics, but the way we treat those with whom we disagree, Republicans, Democrats, and Independents alike. I’m praying for a day when there will be the spirit of unity in the bond of peace. Not that we’ll always agree, not there won’t at times be necessary and principled divides, but that we’ll simply assume the best of one another. 

I pray for a day when this world will know what it truly means to be an American: that all are created equal. That human dignity was inherent value. 

God help us. God bless us. God be with us.

Rev. Barry E. Fields can be reached at


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