In the weeks that followed September 11, we received the statements of 17 of the living Nobel Peace Prize winners.

One month later, as we have moved from the shock of a terrorist event into watching military strikes, there are hard questions to be answered. People who normally consider themselves pacifistic have had to examine, how do you respond to the killing of 3000 innocent people and the injuring of 6000 more? People who support military action are also having to ask themselves, what about the civilians, and the fact that winter is moving in and the children are already hungry?

We see, as we receive new statements from the Laureates, that they are asking themselves the same types of questions we are asking. But these men and women, the people one of our readers aptly described as “our most precious of human resources”, bring a range of wisdom and experience to the discussion that is not available elsewhere.

As we have said before, the Nobel Peace Laureates do not speak in one voice. Do not expect their messages to be uniform. What they do have in common is that each of them has, by their actions, caused a shift in the way we think — in the way we view armed conflict, and the way we look at the world. By sharing their thoughts with us now, they may cause a shift in your thinking. They may cause you to ask other types of questions, or search, with the rest of us, for better solutions.