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Old 2002-09-13, 05:04 PM   #1
JJuggle
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9/11 - One family's perspective

This has nothing to do with unicycling but relates to various conversations that have gone on on RSU. As all the readers on this list are part of a community that I value, I share these words in the hope that they will be read and considered. I have not brought them up in any of the previous threads I have participated in because I did not want others to be influenced by them one way or another. I write them now because a) I want to and b) you all have a right to know where some of my words come from.

On 9/11/01 my uncle, my mother Rita Lasar's broAnd we have seen our national character in eloquent acts of sacrifice. Inside the World Trade Center, one man who could have saved himself stayed until the end at the side of his quadriplegic friend. A beloved priest died giving the last rites to a firefighter. Two office workers, finding a disabled stranger, carried her down sixty-eight floors to safety. A group of men drove through the night from Dallas to Washington to bring skin grafts for burn victims. "ther, was killed at the World Trade Centers. He died something of a hero by virtue of his remaining behind with a wheel-chair bound friend who could not get out alone. He insisted that his friends nurse/care-giver leave because she had children; he did not. When a fireman, Capt William Burek, did arrive, it was too late for them all. They were on the 27th floor and my uncle could easily have escaped. His name was Abe (or Avrame or Abraham) Zelmanowitz and you can find his story on the web in various places. What remains of his body was identified about a month ago and he was given a heros burial in Israel.

I managed to get into Manhattan to visit my mother the Friday after 9/11. That evening we watched President Bush's speech at the National Cathedral where he praised my uncle (although not by name) among others. Here is the quote:

"And we have seen our national character in eloquent acts of sacrifice. Inside the World Trade Center, one man who could have saved himself stayed until the end at the side of his quadriplegic friend."

Although I did not, my mother immediately realized that her brother's name as well as those of the thousands of other victims', would be used as part of the justification for going to war, bombing Afghanistan as well as other military actions. This she could not tolerate. She wrote a letter to the New York Times, published on 9/18, expressing her hope that the United States would not rush to war and bombing as the only solution. Just before Rita was to address a peace demonstration at Union Square Park on October 7th (I believe) the news arrived that we had begun to bombing in Afghanistan of Al-Qaida and Taliban strongholds.

Sometime after this my mother was invited by a peace advocacy group called Global Exchange (http://www.globalexchange.org) to visit Afghanistan with other family members of those who died on 9/11, to meet with victims of violence, particularly US bombing. As it turns out there was a small, but growing contingent of families who suffered loss on 9/11 who felt that war and particularly the killing of civilians, i.e. collateral damage, were unacceptable responses to these terrible events.

8 people including my mother were scheduled to make this trip in January of 2002. 4 wound up going the other 4 backing out after changing their minds or being discouraged, mostly for safety reasons, by their families. The experience was life changing, needless to say, for all who made the trip. The trip is well documented on the WWW, but the highlights include seeing training in identifying cluster-bombs at the primary schools, meeting with families whose homes were completely destroyed and who hoped that the US would make some attempt to compensate them - I note that most of these families were grateful to the US for expelling the Taliban and Al-Qaida; sharing the grief of losing loved ones, which they all did abundantly.

While there they began the work of establishing an Afghan Victims Fund designed to compensate individuals who lost life, limb and home as a direct result of US bombs. One woman who lost 5 children and her husband and who went to the US Embassy on her own to seek help was turned away and literally called a beggar woman by the guard there. (http://www.tompaine.com/feature.cfm/ID/5538). Currently around 30 or so members of Congress are endorsing this fund which is distinct from monies allocated to rebuild Afghanistan's infrastructure and military.

Since this trip my mother and other's like her, families and individuals who experienced loss on 9/11, have worked tirelessly to lobby congress for the fund and to promote a message of peace. This past month she was in Japan on the anniversary of the dropping of the A-bomb on Hiroshima and addressed several organizations and peace rallies. She and others speak at churches, union halls and wherever they are invited.

Needless to say I, as does my brother, support my mothers' activities completely and are very proud of her. She wrote an op/ed piece that was picked up by Knight Ridder and you may wish to read it to hear it from her mouth: http://www.tallahassee.com/mld/talla...on/4045231.htm .

In addition, she and others founded an organization called Peaceful Tomorrows which has information and background on their activities: http://www.peacefultomorrows.org .

My mother and her companions as well as my brother and me have been praised for our stances, ridiculed, called naive, held up as role models and threatened with death. For my family our position on war pre-dates 9/11 but our resolve has been enhanced. For some of our colleagues in this effort an anti-war stance is new.

I will add only that all of us feel very privileged to be Americans, a people who have many choices not available to citizens of most other countries. We cherish these choices, but also believe that having them also involves our having responsibilities, too. My mother has been an activist in making, what we believe, are the right choices. I only wish I were as committed and brave.

So, this is where I come from. I early on dubbed these activities, "the cycnical use of the death of a loved one to promote the cause of peace" a cause well worth it.

Raphael Lasar
Matawan, NJ
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Old 2002-09-13, 05:48 PM   #2
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9/11 - One family's perspective

Quote:
originally posted by JJuggle:
So, this is where I come from. I early on dubbed these activities, "the cycnical use of the death of a loved one to promote the cause of peace" a cause well worth it.
Raphael,

First of all, I want to thank you for this thread. Don't know (but I can guess) where it's going to go, but you made a very important point.

Second; I disagree with your use of the word "cynical". I do not believe that any sincere word or act in the cause of peace can be cynical. "The use of the death of someone you never heard of or cared about to promote the cause of war"... now that's cynical.

Your mom's got the right idea! Violence only brings us more violence. War is a high-profit business... for some.
When leaders start warmongering, we should all ask "Who is going to profit/benefit by this bloodshed?"
There is no profit for the dead or the families of the dead.
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Old 2002-09-13, 06:15 PM   #3
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Re: 9/11 - One family's perspective

Quote:
Originally posted by JJuggle

On 9/11/01 my uncle, my mother Rita Lasar's brother, was killed at the World Trade Centers. He died something of a hero by virtue of his remaining behind with a wheel-chair bound friend who could not get out alone. He insisted that his friends nurse/care-giver leave because she had children; he did not. When a fireman, Capt William Burek, did arrive, it was too late for them all. They were on the 27th floor and my uncle could easily have escaped. His name was Abe (or Avrame or Abraham) Zelmanowitz and you can find his story on the web in various places. What remains of his body was identified about a month ago and he was given a heros burial in Israel.
I apologize, but the second paragraph, despite what I thought was careful proof-reading got fouled up. Above is how it should have read.

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Old 2002-09-13, 07:35 PM   #4
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Everybody, please follow this link and read what Raphael's mom has written. >>>>> http://www.tallahassee.com/mld/tall...ion/4045231.htm

It has nothing to do with Unicycling, but everything to do with humanity. Please read it and think about it.
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Old 2003-01-30, 01:48 AM   #5
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Peaceful Tomorrow's has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. A press release should be available in a day or so at:

http://www.peacefultomorrows.org

I'd be very dishonest if I didn't say that I was incredibly proud of my mother and all the family members who have lost so much yet worked so hard and tirelessly to try to make this a better world by seeking peace and not vengence.

Raphael Lasar
Matawan, NJ
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Old 2003-01-30, 04:37 PM   #6
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>There is no profit for the dead or the families of the dead.

how can u say this?
i thought the call's been going out since the 60's that war is good bussiness and that u should invest your sons?
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Old 2003-01-30, 05:03 PM   #7
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WOW!!!

Please tell your mom "Congratulations!" and "Keep on keepin' on!" for me, Raphael!




Dave, I realize you're dying for a cigarette, but I feel your sarcasm is a bit misplaced here.
I understand your underlying meaning, but your tone is a bit dischordant in relation to the rest of this thread.

We're looking for harmony here.

I'm not one to complain about a little dissonance, usually, as long as there's some balance to it.

Care to try again, Dave?

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Old 2003-01-31, 05:20 PM   #8
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Re: 9/11 - One family's perspective

Quote:
Originally posted by JJuggle
This has nothing to do with unicycling but relates to various conversations that have gone on on RSU. As all the readers on this list are part of a community that I value, I share these words in the hope that they will be read and considered. I have not brought them up in any of the previous threads I have participated in because I did not want others to be influenced by them one way or another. I write them now because a) I want to and b) you all have a right to know where some of my words come from.

On 9/11/01 my uncle, my mother Rita Lasar's brother, was killed at the World Trade Centers. He died something of a hero by virtue of his remaining behind with a wheel-chair bound friend who could not get out alone. He insisted that his friends nurse/care-giver leave because she had children; he did not. When a fireman, Capt William Burek, did arrive, it was too late for them all. They were on the 27th floor and my uncle could easily have escaped. His name was Abe (or Avrame or Abraham) Zelmanowitz and you can find his story on the web in various places. What remains of his body was identified about a month ago and he was given a heros burial in Israel.

I managed to get into Manhattan to visit my mother the Friday after 9/11. That evening we watched President Bush's speech at the National Cathedral where he praised my uncle (although not by name) among others. Here is the quote:


Quote:
orginally boasted by GWB
"And we have seen our national character in eloquent acts of sacrifice. Inside the World Trade Center, one man who could have saved himself stayed until the end at the side of his quadriplegic friend. A beloved priest died giving the last rites to a firefighter. Two office workers, finding a disabled stranger, carried her down sixty-eight floors to safety. A group of men drove through the night from Dallas to Washington to bring skin grafts for burn victims. "
Although I did not, my mother immediately realized that her brother's name as well as those of the thousands of other victims', would be used as part of the justification for going to war, bombing Afghanistan as well as other military actions. This she could not tolerate. She wrote a letter to the New York Times, published on 9/18, expressing her hope that the United States would not rush to war and bombing as the only solution. Just before Rita was to address a peace demonstration at Union Square Park on October 7th (I believe) the news arrived that we had begun to bombing in Afghanistan of Al-Qaida and Taliban strongholds.

Sometime after this my mother was invited by a peace advocacy group called Global Exchange (http://www.globalexchange.org) to visit Afghanistan with other family members of those who died on 9/11, to meet with victims of violence, particularly US bombing. As it turns out there was a small, but growing contingent of families who suffered loss on 9/11 who felt that war and particularly the killing of civilians, i.e. collateral damage, were unacceptable responses to these terrible events.

8 people including my mother were scheduled to make this trip in January of 2002. 4 wound up going the other 4 backing out after changing their minds or being discouraged, mostly for safety reasons, by their families. The experience was life changing, needless to say, for all who made the trip. The trip is well documented on the WWW, but the highlights include seeing training in identifying cluster-bombs at the primary schools, meeting with families whose homes were completely destroyed and who hoped that the US would make some attempt to compensate them - I note that most of these families were grateful to the US for expelling the Taliban and Al-Qaida; sharing the grief of losing loved ones, which they all did abundantly.

While there they began the work of establishing an Afghan Victims Fund designed to compensate individuals who lost life, limb and home as a direct result of US bombs. One woman who lost 5 children and her husband and who went to the US Embassy on her own to seek help was turned away and literally called a beggar woman by the guard there. (http://www.tompaine.com/feature.cfm/ID/5538). Currently around 30 or so members of Congress are endorsing this fund which is distinct from monies allocated to rebuild Afghanistan's infrastructure and military.

Since this trip my mother and other's like her, families and individuals who experienced loss on 9/11, have worked tirelessly to lobby congress for the fund and to promote a message of peace. This past month she was in Japan on the anniversary of the dropping of the A-bomb on Hiroshima and addressed several organizations and peace rallies. She and others speak at churches, union halls and wherever they are invited.

Needless to say I, as does my brother, support my mothers' activities completely and are very proud of her. She wrote an op/ed piece that was picked up by Knight Ridder and you may wish to read it to hear it from her mouth: http://www.tallahassee.com/mld/talla...on/4045231.htm .

In addition, she and others founded an organization called Peaceful Tomorrows which has information and background on their activities: http://www.peacefultomorrows.org .

My mother and her companions as well as my brother and me have been praised for our stances, ridiculed, called naive, held up as role models and threatened with death. For my family our position on war pre-dates 9/11 but our resolve has been enhanced. For some of our colleagues in this effort an anti-war stance is new.

I will add only that all of us feel very privileged to be Americans, a people who have many choices not available to citizens of most other countries. We cherish these choices, but also believe that having them also involves our having responsibilities, too. My mother has been an activist in making, what we believe, are the right choices. I only wish I were as committed and brave.

So, this is where I come from. I early on dubbed these activities, "the cycnical use of the death of a loved one to promote the cause of peace" a cause well worth it.

Raphael Lasar
Matawan, NJ






(respectfully resubmitted for clarity)
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"Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger."
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Old 2003-08-23, 05:40 PM   #9
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Please forgive this bit of spam, but the members of Peaceful Tomorrows have published a book about their experiences and perspectives on and stemming from 9/11, called: September 11th Families For Peaceful Tomorrows: Turning our Grief into Action for Peace. It is available from Amazon.com and elsewhere.

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Old 2003-08-24, 06:49 AM   #10
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I wouldn't call this a piece of Spam. Spam to me is a message posted in the newsgroup by someone completely unattatched to the community for entirely commercial gains. You, on the other hand, are a respected member of the community who is mentioning this book, not to profit from it, but because it's something you really believe in. Not everyone will agree with your conclusions, but they had better not question your convictions!
I'm glad your mom has found something to believe in so strongly. If everyone had such strong beliefs and had as much compassion, our world would be in much better shape.
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Old 2003-08-25, 07:15 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by JJuggle
the members of Peaceful Tomorrows have published a book about their experiences and perspectives on and stemming from 9/11, called: September 11th Families For Peaceful Tomorrows: Turning our Grief into Action for Peace. It is available from Amazon.com and elsewhere.

Raphael Lasar
Matawan, NJ
here i go, discording again...
the first thing that struck me when i read that was the fact that they actually called it september 11th and not the 'iconic' 9/11.
it's real easy to tell the difference sometimes

thanx for the 'heads-up' raphael
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Old 2003-08-25, 10:49 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by GILD


here i go, discording again...
the first thing that struck me when i read that was the fact that they actually called it september 11th and not the 'iconic' 9/11.
it's real easy to tell the difference sometimes
Dave,

Would you elaborate here, please? Perhaps it's just too early, but I don't get your point exactly or quite why it is discordant.

Thanks,
Raphael Lasar
Matawan, NJ
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Old 2003-08-25, 12:13 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by JJuggle
Dave,

Would you elaborate here, please? Perhaps it's just too early, but I don't get your point exactly or quite why it is discordant.

Thanks,
Raphael Lasar
Matawan, NJ
sure
my comments are based on my belief that it was a horrible occurence, let's use it for peace
as opposed to the (seemingly in vogue) let's use it for an excuse to make so many enemies that we all but guarantee it will happen again
(not being american i'm using 'we' in the loosest possible sense)
the title of this book was the first instance i can recall where i saw that date written as 'september 11th'
and i thought that was an interesting indication that this was not your 'run of the mill' boot-rally mentality '9/11' tome
this was largely based on some of your mother's writings i found links to earlier in the thread

the 'discordant' comment was as a result of sendhair's reaction to my first contribution to this thread where my applied sarcasm got me an invitation to try some 'harmonious dissonance', a concept to warm the cockles of my dogmatic-anarchist heart at the best of times.
just in case i missed the required level of 'balanced sarcasm' in this post, i thought i'd preface it with a disclaimer of sorts
this whole paragraph is slightly

my previous post was just a lil' cryptic
i'm busy reading a collection of Hunter S. Thompson's personal correspondence
blame it on him for being a bad influence
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Old 2003-08-25, 03:17 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by paco
I wouldn't call this a piece of Spam. Spam to me is a message posted in the newsgroup by someone completely unattatched to the community for entirely commercial gains. You, on the other hand, are a respected member of the community who is mentioning this book, not to profit from it, but because it's something you really believe in. Not everyone will agree with your conclusions, but they had better not question your convictions!
I'm glad your mom has found something to believe in so strongly. If everyone had such strong beliefs and had as much compassion, our world would be in much better shape.
Paco,

Thanks for your comment. I used the term "spam" somewhat tongue in cheek, but meant it mostly to appease those who disagree with our position. I think even they don't really mind my posting, however.

Cheers,
Raphael Lasar
Matawan, NJ
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Old 2003-08-27, 11:38 AM   #15
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Thank you for shearing your belifes on the 9/11 tradgody. I to agree that it should not have been used as an excuse for war in the names of those who where killed. The fact that so many Americans where so violently outraged by the event sickened me. All i felt was pitty on the day, pitty for the dead and there familys, pitty for the nation of America, But most of all pitty for those who did it, for they did not know any better. I feel what people need to realize is that there terorists are not always bad people, they are people who are usualy niaeve and uneducated, i feel that sending people to educate them would have been alot better and alot more helpful that sending bombs to kill them! While im on that point shouldn't the "war agenst terror" be a war that is not faught on the battle feild but with leaders negoteating. Isn't that why americans voted for Bush? so that he could LEAD because he isn't setting a good example of how to resolve problems, lead by example comes to mind.

I think the best thing he could do is send aid, send people to educate, send people to help rebuld a community not in the U.S standard but that standard that the people of the country wanted. Just to think if the U.S lifted its trade blocks on countrys how much the people of those countries would dispise the U.S alot less. I feel that war is always wrong, people always die.


I read one of the most disturbing things of my life the otherday, "I watches a man kill another man, afterwards i washed my eyes". Think about that stantment, its so human "A man kill another man", he wansm't a nameless soldier he was a man, a person! "I washed my eyes", when i was about 15 i had a dog and she got run over, when she was dead i did the same thing i washed my eyes, tryed to be rid of the picture that keeped reapairing in my mind of my dead dog, now imagen that as a person who just moments ago probably said something, was moving. Now they are still. Silent. Not breathing. This my friends is war. The bombs arn't droped on nameless people who never moved or spoke, the bombs are droped on people who have lives, personalitys, loves and belifes! When the bombs are droped someone has to come in and take the bodys away. The twisted remains of human carcuses that once lived. These people then have to go back to there families and know that the next bomb could be on them, is this not the terror of wich we speek? who is the terorist? and who is in terror? I will leave that for you to decide for yourselfs.

God bless

James Pritchard

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