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September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows: Turning Tragedy into Hope for a Better World Paperback – January 1, 2003

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Editorial Reviews Review

Over three thousand families were torn apart on September 11, 2001. But from the devastation of that day, another family was formed--a family bound not by biology, culture or country, but by compassion and the commitment to spare all others the loss and pain they had shared. It is almost unfathomable to think that on the day following the September 11 attacks, some of the victims' families were already thinking about the terrible political consequences of their personal nightmares and were seeking a means to prevent them. September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows: Turning our Grief into Action for Peace describes how these families (totaling 80 to date), from all over the country and from all kinds of backgrounds, formed a non-profit organization dedicated to finding peaceful alternatives to the U.S. war on terror. The book intersperses a narrative that describes the group's development and activity (written by David Potorti, a group member) with personal essays by individual family members, and (the sometimes shocking) e-mail responses to the group's website:

The mission of the September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows is idealistic: it opposes war in the name of their lost loved ones and advocates the prevention of terrorism by addressing the difficult problems that lie at its root, namely extremism, militarism, poverty, racism, ignorance, inequality, hatred, hopelessness, and rage. Angry opponents to the group's goals and pursuits, including some in the media, have labeled them "unpatriotic," "cowards," "ignorant," and "naïve"--particularly in response to their reaching out to the Afghani and Iraqi victims of U.S. military action. But fair-minded readers of this powerful book will certainly be moved by the courage, commitment, compassion, and moral conviction expressed by these extraordinary/ordinary people and their supporters. Joined together by their grief and dedication, the group shows how "people-to-people, you can make a difference." --Silvana Tropea

From Publishers Weekly

Many of the relatives of September 11th victims who disagree with the U.S.'s military response to the terrorist attacks formed an activist group named Peaceful Tomorrows. In this enlightening volume, Potorti, a journalist and member of the organization, offers a history of the little known group. Among other activities, Peaceful Tomorrows members have visited Afghanistan and Iraq in order to spur the American public's sympathy with the citizens of countries attacked by the U.S. The book includes essays by members about their journeys with the group, letters from members to the federal government expressing disappointment in America's diplomatic efforts, and e-mails to the group's Web site, some expressing support for the group, others disapproval of their pacifist stance. These very personal and moving accounts will appeal to those who, like the group's members, believe violence was the wrong response to the tragedy of September 11. Photos.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Akashic Books (January 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0971920648
  • ISBN-13: 978-0971920644
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,456,122 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Author David Potorti wrote in the Introduction to this 2003 book, "Most of us choose to turn off our televisions and radios as we dealt with our difficult grief (about 9/11). But some of us, recognizing the public nature of our losses, chose to redeem them by making public statements that frequently were at odds with conventional wisdom about what families of the victims must be feeling. It was through those statements that the people who formed September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows met and organized themselves into a nonprofit group seeking alternatives to war and working to end the cycle of violence... This book tells the story of how members ... recognized and rose to those responsibilities; how speaking out connected us with each other; how people around the country and the world extended their hands in friendship to our group... I've written a running history of our group, including my own participation." (Pg. 7, 9)

One parent expressed a common sentiment, "I know there is anger. I feel it myself. But I don't want my son used as a pawn to justify the killing of others. I'm not willing to give our government carte blanche to take away our freedoms in the name of public safety." (Pg. 24) Later, another said, "I have always felt... that bombing Afghanistan was wrong... Bombing one of the poorest countries in the world wasn't the answer." (Pg. 128)

Potorti states, "The violent actions of September 11 were a crime against humanity perpetrated to terrorists, not an act of war waged by any particular nation. Nonetheless, the U.S. has attacked an entire nation and the public is being primed for more to come." (Pg.
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