First Anniversary Vigil in Washington Square Park

Aug 23, 2002

NEW YORK CITY–September 11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows will co-sponsor a dusk to dawn vigil at Washington Square Park in Manhattan in commemoration of the terrorist attacks that took the lives of their lost loved ones, as well as others who have lost their lives to violence. Peaceful Tomorrows members Colleen Kelly, Talat Hamdani, David Potorti, and Andrew Rice will be present at the gathering, along with family members of those affected by violence in other countries.

Scheduled to appear are: Martin Luther King III (President, Southern Christian Leadership Conference); Amy Goodman, (host of Pacifica Radio’s “Democracy Now”); Kathy Kelly (Voices in the Wilderness); Manning Marable (Director of the Institute for Research in African-American studies at Columbia University); Michael Ratner (Center for Constitutional Rights and an attorney for Guantanamo detainees); Debbie Almontaser (Muslim American Society); Masuda Sultan, an Afghan-American who lost 19 relatives in the U.S.-led bombing; Father Daniel Berrigan, S.J.; Vandana Shiva (Indian Ecologist, Anti-globalization activist); Luong Ung, (Cambodian refugee and author); satirist Reverend Billy; and musicians including Pat Humphries, Sandy Opatow, the LaGuardia High School Chorale, and others. A special written message from Muhammad Ali also will be read.

“September 11th must not continue to be used to promote more war and violence,” said Colleen Kelly, Peaceful Tomorrows’ New York area coordinator, who lost her brother, William, at the World Trade Center that day. “This first anniversary, let us initiate an exploration of what it will take to bring healing and wholeness to our world. It is in remembering the universality of our grief that we shape our hope for a future of peaceful tomorrows.”

The program will take place from 7pm-10pm on September 10. A candlelight vigil will continue through the night, with closing observances beginning early on the morning of September 11.

September 11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows ( is an advocacy organization formed by family members of September 11 victims. Its mission is to seek effective, nonviolent responses to terrorism, and to identify a commonality with all people similarly affected by violence throughout the world. The group is urging the American government to create a fund to assist Afghan families that were affected by the U.S. military campaign.

The vigil is co-sponsored by: the American Friends Service Committee, Brooklyn Bridges, Buddhist Council of New York, Catholic Worker, Center for Constitutional Rights, Columbia Media Project, Fellowship of Reconciliation, Gabriella Network, Global Exchange, Jews for Social and Economic Justice, Judson Memorial Church, Middle Collegiate Church, Muslim American Society, Pax Christi, Nipponzan Myohoji, Peace Action, Voices in the Wilderness, War Resisters League, Washington Square United Methodist Church, Women in Black, and Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.

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