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Donald Charlebois

My brother David was the First Officer on American Airlines 77 which was diverted into the Pentagon. David shared the cockpit with Captain Burlingame. On that day we all became September 11 Families, a group that no one would have knowledgeably joined. I still have a hard time wrapping my head around the events of that day, but especially the way that world events have spun and are spinning out of control.

I was drawn to September 11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows (PT) in my reading about protests at the Park51 project, actually surprised at the level of vehemence. I read about and admired your courage in the face of this rage. I embarrassingly was not aware of the activities of PT, focusing on silent remembrance and worrying about my parents as opposed to using remembrance to generate initiative. I am a builder, a carpenter, a sculptor, and a painter. I lean heavily towards things, which heal and are positive and/or constructive. I have been very fortunate to let my mind and hands work through many different and difficult issues. I know that the best way to honor my brother is in peaceful pursuit. I see PT as a peaceful pursuit, providing constant reminders of the standards we must uphold. My wife, Donna, and I were able to work with Susan Retik and her organization ‘Beyond the Eleventh’ this year and experienced the physical channeling of those emotions. We hold hope to be able to see peaceful tomorrows for our time and the next generations.


Filed in: Donald Charlebois, Member Stories

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