FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE…….March 2, 2017
A Letter to President Trump
Dear President Trump,
We are writing to you as the families of some of those who died in the September 11th terrorist attacks. We are their parents and children, spouses and siblings, grandparents and cousins. We are those they loved dearly and those who remember them. We write you now to express our deep concern about your policies regarding terrorism, specifically those policies targeting Muslims. We are aware of the sinister connection in the minds of the American people between Islam and terrorism, and we write you now in an attempt to correct that bias. We believe this bias to be the unfortunate result of the very attack that claimed our loved ones. We know that because of this attack many Americans are afraid, as many of us have been afraid. But today we write to ask you, and the American people, to face this issue head-on and to acknowledge the fear that is at the root of this issue.
We believe that attempting to block people from entering this country on the basis of their religion is not a display of strength, but a display of cowardice. Fear separates people; it takes bravery to bring people together. If, indeed, you have the best interests of the American people at heart, you will be strong on our behalf. You will have the strength to look into the eyes of a hijab-wearing refugee and see her humanity. You will have the strength to walk down the street with Arabic-speaking men and know that they are not a threat. When you allow fear to guide your actions and mask that fear through aggression, you subvert America’s role as a world leader and a model to be emulated.
In the presence of this epidemic of fear that is plaguing our nation, we who have seen the danger and who have experienced some of the worst effects of terrorism, are not afraid. Over the past fifteen years we have all, in our own ways, been reflecting on and confronting our own fears; fears that our remaining parents or children will die, fears that we are targeted, fears that what happened to our loved ones will happen to us. In these years we have come to see that these fears, however real they may feel, are not based in reality. We have seen that we are no more likely than others to be targeted, and Muslim people are no more likely than others to target us. Understanding these truths, we have chosen to embrace our Muslim neighbors, friends and family. We remember that people of all religions died in the towers.
We will always remember the people we lost on September 11th, but we will never use that day as a justification for violence. We have emerged out of the ashes of that day a more loving people. It is an insult to us that you would use the deaths of our loved ones to perpetuate acts of hate and discrimination. It is an insult to us that you would prohibit individuals from entering our country on the basis of their religion, and it is a further insult when those people are refugees. It is a commonly recognized fact that not a single American has died in a terror attack committed by refugees. Refugees are not terrorists; they are seeking safety from terrorists. To deny them that safety, to ignore their pleas for peaceful and productive lives, is to dishonor first-responders and others who gave their lives to save other innocents from violence.
In light of this, we urge you, President Trump, to refrain from further action discriminating against Muslims and people from predominantly Muslim countries. These discriminatory actions are un-American, and we do not support them. We implore you to stop the spread of discourse and policies that perpetuate fear and bias; not for your own political gain, not for the supposed security of our country and most especially, not in our names.
Antonio Aversano, Son of Louis F. Aversano, Jr. WTC South Tower
Rev Myrna Bethke, Sister of William Bethke, WTC North Tower
Alyson Becker, Wife of Cesar Augusto Murillo, WTC North Tower
Sarah T Boyle, Cousin of Tom Theurkauf, Jr., WTC South Tower
Donald Charlebois, brother of David Charlebois, First Officer on American Airlines 77
Loretta Filipov, Wife of Alexander Filipov, Passenger aboard American Airlines Flight 11
Dr. James and Barbara Fyfe, Parents od Karleton Douglas Beye Fyfe, WTC North Tower
Terry Greene, Sister of Donald Freeman Greene, Passenger aboard United Flight 93
Talat Hamdani, Mother of Salman Hamdani, First Responder, WTC, South Tower
Colleen Kelly, Sister of William H. Kelly, Jr, WTC North Tower
Diqui LaPenta, Fiance Richard Guadagno, Passenger aboard United Flight 93
Andrea LeBlanc, Wife of Robert LeBlanc, Passenger aboard United Flight 175
Valerie Lucznikowska, Aunt of Adam Arias, WTC South Tower
Donna Marsh O’Connor, Mother of Vanessa Lang Lager and her unborn child, WTC South Tower
Nancy Meyer, Sister-in-Law of Lauren Catuzzi Grandcolas, Passenger aboard United Flight 93
Karen Reilly, Wife of Ronald Tartaro, WTC North Tower
Terry Rockefeller, Sister of Laura Rockefeller, WTC North Tower
Phyllis Rodriguez, Mother of Gregory Rodriguez, WTC North Tower
Alana Tartaro, Daughter of Ronald Tartaro, WTC North Tower
Adele Welty, Mother of Timothy M. Welty, Firefighter, WTC South Tower
Nissa Youngren, Daughter of Robert LeBlanc, Passenger aboard United Flight 175
On behalf of September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows