Those who attacked us obviously did not know that we are not godless people nor are we a faithless people. We are many people united under one nation who trust in God. It is because of this that we have been able to respond to their attacks with strength, courage, faith and resolve.

In this year since Sept. 11, 2001, we, as individuals, communities and nation have found ways to be instruments of healing, comfort and reconciliation. I know that these are difficult things to do when lives have been lost because of the hateful actions of others.

All societies need to redefine healing environments and human relationships after a major catastrophe. All of us need new solutions to old problems. We need to cross those boundaries created by gender, social class, and race and ethnic background. This is the opportunity and moral moment and challenge presented to us as a nation and to our world as a result of the attacks and lives lost on Sept. 11. We have to redefine who we are as members of a global society without being afraid that doing so means losing our individuality. It means affirming our particularity and those fundamental things that make us interdependent upon one another. Our commonality then becomes more important than our differences out of which we create a better society.

The Rev. Frederick Streets is the chaplain of Yale University.