Editor: On Sept. 12, 2003 Interdependence Day was launched at the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia, just one block from Independence Hall. The date was selected intentionally as the day after the terrorist attacks of 9/11 — as a time to reflect on the realities of interdependence — both positive and negative — and on the civic and moral implications of those realities.

On July 4, 1962, 41 years earlier, President John F. Kennedy proposed — at Independence Hall — that it was time for us Americans to have a Declaration of Interdependence, noting that after World War II, Europe was beginning to recognize its connectedness — and collaborate, at least on economic matters.

On May 24, 2004, President Bill Clinton gave the first Dole Lecture at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas. His remarks were laced with observations on interdependence — again both its positive and negative realities. He ended on this note: “If we can prove that freedom brings mutual respect and that people can be proud of their heritage and proud of their religion, and proud of everything that’s special and still bound together in a more perfect union, that will do as much to undermine the long-term appeal of terror as anything else we can do.”

On Sept. 12, 2012, as we mourn the events of 9/11/01, let us reflect on what we can do to make this world a better place for all people — environmentally and economically, politically and socially, educationally and medically. It requires our will — and our sense of responsibility for the public good. It begins at home but, in this era of globalization, it must extend to the far reaches of the planet.

The Times-Tribune- Publication Date: September 12, 2012 

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