April 17, 2010 Ceremony Honoring First Responders, Groton, MA

9/11 First responders are honored as they deliver their letters to the students in a Groton school, to be added to the student’s Pages for Peace project (www.pagesforpeace.org). Co-sponsored by Peaceful Tomorrows, a Personal Statement was delivered by Terry Greene:

It is hard to find words to express the depth of my gratitude today to the first responders for their sacrifices and for making this particular journey, to the town of Groton which has hosted this event, and to the youth in Groton who have led us to this day.

The terrorist attacks on 9/11 were launched by those who believed they could make the world a better place through destruction. The middle school students of Groton-Dunstable understand that violence and destruction will not make the world a better place.

My brother, Donald Freeman Greene, was among those who died on 9/11; he was a passenger aboard United Flight 93. Don’s life was the antithesis of the terrorist’s philosophy. He was Vice President of a company that made safety instruments for airplanes – ensuring that passengers returned home unharmed to their loved ones. He didn’t stop there. He used his connections in aeronautics to help those with cancer obtain free flights on corporate jets to their treatments – Don served on the Board of the Corporate Angels Network. He was a loving husband and father. Losing Don, and the thousands of other victims of the attack who also were giving so much to their families and society, by no means made the world a better place.

In the days following 9/11 there was no greater act in opposition to the philosophy of terrorism than that of the first responders. Led by bravery and compassion, they sacrificed themselves to save lives. They showed the power and strength to make the world a better place by supporting and serving others. The first responders encouraged us to stand united. Unlike terrorists, it was not to stand united against others. We stood united from across the City, the country, and the world to support one another. They provided such hope to all of our families. Not just those of us who were hoping our loved ones could be saved. They gave hope to families across the world that we could live helping, not hurting one another.

The first responders have come today uniting us in Groton. We desperately need uniting. Our communities are splintering. Differences in religions, ethnicities, politics have led to us viewing one another more and more as enemies. The losses of conflict are mounting as hundreds of thousands of have died in Iraq and Afghanistan, most of them innocent women and children alongside our own young soldiers. Yet our world is growing smaller and our interdependence on one another more and more apparent. The youth in the Groton-Dunstable Bookmakers and Dreamers Club see the simple truth. We must stand united for, not against one another. And I, along with my fellow members of September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, applaud them for their determination and innovation in teaching all of us how we can achieve this lasting peace.

Filed in: News from Peaceful Tomorrows, Voices of Peaceful Tomorrows

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