Dear Friends and Supporters,
As the year draws to a close, we, as members of September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, write to express gratitude for your ongoing support. Peaceful Tomorrows, an organization founded by families of those who lost loved ones on 9/11, seeks to promote nonviolent and just responses to the attacks. We seek to counter violence with compassion, hate with understanding, and war with peace.
It is hard to believe that eighteen years have gone by since our father, Brian Joseph Murphy, lost his life. He worked in bond trading at Cantor Fitzgerald, on the 103rd floor of the North Tower. On 9/11, we were children ― Leila was in her first few days of nursery school, and Jessica had recently entered kindergarten. We were too young to fully grasp the horror of that day. It was not until much later that we began to understand the impact of this event, both on our own family and on the nation as a whole. In the years since the attacks, the American government has relied on war as a tactic to respond to the violence inflicted on our loved ones. Sadly, politicians have used — and continue to use — the name of the 9/11 victims to justify further atrocities. Our involvement with Peaceful Tomorrows has motivated us to reckon with this legacy and channel our loss into something greater.
We joined the organization last year, after reading an op-ed in the New York Times about Guantanamo Bay written by Julia Rodriguez, another member. We were shocked to learn about delays in the legal process and gaps in the government’s rule of law. Peaceful Tomorrows continues to engage with the ongoing legal processes at Guantanamo. It is the only group of victim families to send a member to every single round of hearings in the case against the five men accused of involvement with the 9/11 attacks. In addition to encouraging meaningful political engagement on issues relating to our collective losses, the Peaceful Tomorrows community has helped us to better understand the hearings we witnessed during a trip we took to Guantanamo last year. In the two years that we have been members of the organization, we traveled to DC twice — first to share our experiences at an annual rally to close the detention center at Guantanamo, and more recently, to speak to congressional representatives about legislation involving the situation of Guantanamo detainees.
The most valuable gift that this organization has given us is a shared connection with other members ― all of whom who have experienced traumatic loss but have dedicated themselves to building a more peaceful world. Our father Brian lived with grace, spirit, and love and it is in his memory that we, too, aspire to have compassion for all. Although we were not old enough to witness some of the hateful rhetoric that followed the September 11 attacks, we know that the consequences of the ensuing atrocities reverberate today. Now, more than ever, we must speak out against violent actions and hateful political speech.
With your support, we will continue to work towards a more peaceful tomorrow.
With prayers of love and peace,
Jessica and Leila Murphy
The Members of September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows