Wednesday  September 10, 2003


before 9/11 it seemed naive and unthinkable

A letter from Colleen Kelly, one of the family members of 9/11 victims:

As the anniversary of September 11th approaches, the theme of memorials is a constant focal point here in New York City. It is especially heartening to see the variety of ways families have chosen to honor their lost loved ones: street namings, memorial scholarships, charitable work honoring by name those killed. Of course we wait in great anticipation to see what form and ethos the memorial at Ground Zero will take.

But beyond granite, beyond the confines of eighteen acres, how do we as a nation want 9/11 remembered in history? The choice is before us, in the here and now. Was that clear blue day two years ago the beginning of an endless war on terror? Or was it the day the deaths of three thousand people gave the world pause, and after a few false starts, shifted us all towards a new understanding of global justice and peace. On this two-year anniversary, we invite you to gather with the families of Peaceful Tomorrows as we remember 9/11 with a circle of hope.

We will encircle the World Trade Center site with a vigil on the night of September 10, 2003. Please gather with us in New York City to reclaim the anniversary of 9/11. Here are the details:

September 10, 2003

6:45 pm Gather at Union Square Park (14th and Broadway)

7:15 pm Silent procession down Broadway to encircle the World Trade Center site in a candlelight vigil.

Due to fire regulations, bring a flashlight instead of a candle. White paper bags will be available at Union Square Park to make "flashlight luminaries."

This is a silent vigil, not a political rally so please leave signs at home.

In the immediate aftermath of the tragedy of September 11th 2001, expressions of sympathy and solidarity with the victims poured in from people all over the world. As the victims' family members, we witnessed and received extraordinary acts of compassion. Many visualized a phoenix of peace arising from the ashes of the crash sites.

Instead, the death of our loved ones on 9/11 has been used to justify a flawed "war on terror" that has made America less safe than ever. The war has failed to stabilize Afghanistan and killed thousands of innocent Afghans. At home, our loved ones' deaths have been invoked to take away our civil liberties and target immigrant communities under the false guise of security. The fear and panic unleashed two years ago has been rekindled to mislead the public about the reasons for an unrelated and unnecessary war in Iraq that is still taking the lives of US service people and Iraqis every day. And now we have been told by the Bush campaign, that the Republican convention has been planned in New York in early September 2004 so that it will "flow seamlessly into the commemoration events of 9/11."

The families of Peaceful Tomorrows have stood with MoveOn members to oppose the irrational fear-based policies put in place in the name of 9/11. We ask that you stand with us on the two year anniversary of 9/11 to mourn the lost, heal the living and rekindle the hope for a better world. Please join us in New York City on the evening of 9/10 as we surround the World Trade Center site in a candlelight vigil.


1. Join us for the vigil in New York! Download the flier here:

2. Please tell your friends outside the New York area to visit to create or join a Circle of Hope vigil in their communities. More than 100 Circle of Hope events are taking place around the world.

3. Donate to Peaceful Tomorrows. We do not receive any 9/11 charity money and depend on financial contributions from our supporters to continue our work for peace and justice. Please contribute online at:

Thank you,

--Colleen Kelly

on behalf of September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows

Nogales, Arizona

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