February 12, 2005
September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows Statement for Dresden, Germany Commemoration
This weekend, the people of Dresden, Germany will gather for their annual commemoration of the firebombing of their city in World War II. Messages from all over the world will be read on this occasion, including the message below from Peaceful Tomorrows.
The members of September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows stand in solidarity with the people of Dresden as you commemorate the terrible losses you experienced 60 years ago. We also acknowledge the civilian deaths which occurred in Guernica eight years earlier.
As you gather at this time, we are also gathered for a commemoration of our own. It was three years ago, this weekend, that family members of September 11th victims created our organization, which sought to turn our grief into action for peace.
At that time, we recognized that powerful military forces were being unleashed against the world as a response to 9/11. We also knew that these forces, once set in motion, would lead to specific consequences–that countless innocent civilians would be killed or injured, refugees would be created, and generations of new children would carry new wounds. We believed that responding to the violence that took the lives of our loved ones would only create more violence.
Today, we see that our worst fears have been realized, and that the world is a more dangerous place because of the choices made since 9/11. As in Dresden, and as in Guernica, it is ordinary people who are doing most of the suffering and dying. It is ordinary people, and their children and grandchildren, who will continue to pay the price for the direction we have chosen.
Like you, the members of Peaceful Tomorrows have first-hand knowledge of the realities of terrorism and war. We seek to bring new approaches, new policies, and new solutions to the very old problems of violence among nations and among people.
We believe that it is individuals who possess the greatest power to effect such change. This power is greater than armies and more powerful than bombs. It knows no national boundaries, and finds common cause among all those who seek peace, communication and reconciliation with their fellow human beings.
Today, the members of September 11th Families are inspired by your courageous witness. It is easy for new generations to forget the lessons of history. It is our duty to remind them. We join you in this essential task.
With best wishes,
September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows
Gathered this weekend in Washington, DC, USA