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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Statement on Eighth Anniversary of 9/11 Attacks
WASHINGTON/NEW YORK - September 11 - As we mark another anniversary of the tragic events that took our loved ones lives, the members of September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows share our hopes for peace.
“Not in our son's name,” wrote Phyllis and Orlando Rodriguez, founding members of Peaceful Tomorrows, in a letter to President Bush postmarked September 15, 2001. As the calls for war and revenge were heard all around, Peaceful Tomorrows members spoke with one voice, imploring our leaders to recognize that in this tragic moment in history, we as a people held in our hands the unprecedented possibility of leading the world to a peace never before realized.
Our nation, united with peacemaking peoples all over the globe, was pregnant with the possibility of that peace . . . . and now we may finally be in a position to begin fulfilling that possibility. In 2006 Peaceful Tomorrows founded the International Network for Peace [INP], a partnership of organizations, from 17 countries around the world, of individuals and families directly affected by political violence and war who have chosen to respond by working for nonviolent solutions to conflict. Today the members of the INP are seizing opportunities to create new ways for nations to achieve true justice and lasting peace. We are very excited that the INP has launched its own website: www.internationalnetworkforpeace.org
We are all uplifted by this community of peacemakers who keep hope alive that we will all share Peaceful Tomorrows. To nourish hope, here is a summary of what the members of Peaceful Tomorrows have done in the past year to support our mission:
In November 2008, Peaceful Tomorrows published the report, "Afghanistan: Ending A Failed Military Strategy," created in collaboration with Afghan NGOs and our friends in the international peace movement. In the report, we stress the need for regional diplomacy to address issues of development, humanitarian aid, and education for the people of Afghanistan. We emphasize the crucial need to end the bombings and attacks with pilotless drones that are causing tragically high numbers of civilian casualties. Above all, we stake our hope in a long-term commitment to supporting NGOs and peacemakers in Afghanistan as they rebuild their society and create opportunities for their citizens to prosper.
Iraqis also say “No!” La'Onf [“No Violence,” in Arabic] is a coalition of Iraqi civil society organizations committed to ending war, sectarian and political violence, and corruption in their country, so that Iraqis can build a stable, peaceful and prosperous future. Since 2007, Peaceful Tomorrows has worked to spread the hopeful message of this growing network of Iraqi organizations dedicated to non-violence. Peaceful Tomorrows nominated La'Onf for two international honors this year. We are delighted that the network has been awarded the 2009 Pfeffer Peace Prize given by the Fellowship of Reconciliation to honor those around the world working for peace with justice. La'Onf will also receive the 2009 John Humphrey Freedom Award from the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development in Canada.
During October, November and December, representatives of La'Onf will travel throughout the US and Canada to share their inspiring story of working to build peace, nonviolence, and a strong and democratic civil society in Iraq. Peaceful Tomorrows is honored to be working with La'Onf and to see it receive the recognition it so justly deserves.
Guantanamo Bay Prison and the Office of Military Commissions
President Obama's Executive Orders detailing the closing of the notorious Guantanamo prison also mandate a review of the case of each detainee, along with options for improvements to the military tribunal process set up under the controversial Military Commissions Act of 2006, which was twice substantially altered by the Supreme Court.
Peaceful Tomorrows has dedicated resources to form and support a Guantanamo Committee to work actively for a just outcome to the prison closing, to ensure legal and fair trials for those charged, and to see that our nation rejects all forms of torture and complies with international law regarding the treatment of prisoners. We believe that the United States can and must promote respect for the law and the rights our nation holds dear as we work with the international community to bring those responsible for terrorism to justice.
All of this work that the members of Peaceful Tomorrows do honors the lives and memories of the family members we lost eight years ago. It brings meaning to our lives today.