Between The Lines’ Scott Harris spoke with the Rev. Myrna Bethke, a member of the Peaceful Tomorrows group, whose younger brother Bill died in the attack on the World Trade Center. Rev. Bethke, along with other surviving family members, traveled to Afghanistan in June, where they met relatives of those killed or injured in the U.S. bombing campaign there. She reflects on her loss and the mood of the country on the first year observance of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack.
The first year anniversary of the Sept.11 terrorist attacks arrives with enormous emotion, fear and a determination to rise above the horrific violence visited upon the nation on that extraordinary day one year ago. People from all walks of life will gather for prayer services, family members of those killed will pause to remember their loved ones and politicians will no doubt make speeches designed to evoke patriotism and boost their own careers.
While many Americans have coped with the specter of Sept. 11 by displaying flags and expressing support for military action against the perpetrators of the attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C., others most deeply touched by the violence have taken a different approach. The September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows was founded by relatives of September 11th victims. The group advocates a nonviolent response to terrorism and works toward breaking the endless cycle of violence and retaliation engendered by war.