New York, NY, September 3, 2003: On the eve of the anniversary of September 11th family members of victims of the attacks on the World Trade Center (WTC), Pentagon, and Flight 93 will join thousands of New Yorkers for a procession down Broadway and candlelight vigil at the WTC site.
Organizers of the vigil, September 11th Families For Peaceful Tomorrows, say they planed the public event as a silent vigil because of their growing concern about the politicization of the day.
“We’ve seen the deaths of our loved ones used to justify misguided and unrelated policy at home and a war abroad in Iraq,” said Andrew Rice whose brother was killed in the Towers. “Now, with the Republican National convention planned just before the anniversary next year so that it flows seamlessly into the commemoration events, I am worried that my brother’s death is being exploited for political purposes. We are calling on all political leaders to respect the anniversary as day of mourning and reflection, not a back drop for their campaigns.”
The group also says the event is an alternative to the “official” 9/11 ceremony and is intended to give the public a space to mourn victims and help survivors heal.
“We felt it was important to create a way for everyone affected by the tragedy to come together to mourn, reflect and heal,” said Colleen Kelly, whose brother was killed. “We hope that this vigil will rekindle the spirit of compassion and community that so many of us felt after 9/11.”
WHAT: News Conference: Announcement of Plans for September 11th Vigil
WHO: September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows
WHERE: Union Square Park, (south side at 14th Street and University)
WHEN: Tuesday, September 9th 10am