Dear Friends of the Alicia Titus Memorial Peace Fund,
This Sept. 11, we will commemorate the 17th year since the attack on our country that took nearly 3,000 lives, including our daughter Alicia. For anyone who has ever lost a child, you know what that is like! There isn't a day goes by that we don't think of her and grieve and yet, we've learned to live life to the fullest and make the best of each day. Through the grieving process of losing Alicia, we now have a greater compassion for all who have suffered painful losses. Along with greater compassion is a longing to make our world a better and safer place for our children and their children. The question that comes from that is, how? How do we make a difference in a world of 7.3 billion people? How can one person affect the outcome for the whole? And, even more specifically, what can I do to be the change I wish to see in the world? These questions continue to guide Bev and I in our quest to make the world a better place. It all starts with each one of us. What guides our lives and gives us purpose? How do we learn to forgive those who have trespassed against us and to love our enemy? From whence comes our strength and guidance and how do we continue to grow both? And, perhaps, the most important of all, how do we grow our love for one another (our neighbor) and act in accordance with that love? These questions will be answered differently by each of us, and that is part of the richness of our freedom and the variety of cultures that make up the beautiful tapestry of our world.
Each of us is unique and each of us has something worthy to contribute to the whole it is also a choice we make! One of the divine truths that I try to live by is that we are all deeply interconnected and come from the same source. And, like the ripple effect, everything we do affects the whole, in good ways and bad. The very purpose of our creation is to develop a heaven on earth; and as human beings, we can contribute to this divine plan or we can perpetuate hatred and violence, it is of our choosing which of these we promote. How do we find the common thread that binds us together as human beings? How do we create a community and world where love is the abiding force? These difficult questions need to be asked and demand our attention to ensure the safety of our children and the survival of our planet. This is our challenge as individuals, as communities, as a country, and as a world, to learn how to communicate better and to find common ground. This is the hope and the vision that came to us after Alicia was so violently killed by terrorists on 9/11. This is the power of love that will overcome the hatred, the fear, the distrust, the rage and contempt that fuels more of the same. If we are to heal as a nation, our country, our communities, and as individuals we must break the cycle of violence that exist in our world. It is with this in mind that Bev and I, along with Reverend Betsy Coffman and friends started the Alicia Titus Memorial Peace Fund in 2002, after Alicia was killed on Sept. 11, 2001. The purpose of the fund is to carry out the legacy and spirit of Alicia's life by sponsoring programs for Urbana University and the community that promotes and supports a culture of peace.
We could not have done this journey without you and many other wonderful people who have graced our lives with your presence! It is with deep gratitude that we thank you for your continued love and support, for your hours of service volunteering, and for your heartfelt donations. We have raised nearly $100,000, which has allowed us to offer over 50 educational programs and sponsored events that encourage a culture of peace within our personal lives, on campus, within our communities, in our country, and around the world!
Please join us for the Alicia Titus Memorial Peace Run/Walk on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018 at 9 a.m. This annual fund raising peace event starts and ends at the Student Center at Urbana University, a branch campus of Franklin University. This year's peace building family event provides refreshments, music, door prizes and Kids for Peace activities.
Register today at www.cantstoprunningco.com. Race registration and donations to support our ongoing efforts can also be provided by contacting Stephani Islam at Urbana University via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or through the Alicia Titus Memorial Peace Fund page.
Heartfelt thanks to all who have supported our efforts in the past. We are deeply honored and grateful for your love and support.
John and Bev Titus, parents of Alicia