11 September relatives speak out against war

 Relatives of people who died on 11 September are coming to the UK later this month, to appeal for 'justice and not war.' Among them, will be Amber Amundson, 28, a mother of two, who lost her husband Craig in the terrorist attack on the Pentagon. She will be speaking with her brother-in-law Rick, at 7.30pm in Friends House, Euston Road, London, on Thursday 21 February. Amber said: "Losing my 28 year-old husband and father of our two young children is a terrible and painful experience. His death is also part of an immense national loss and I am comforted by knowing so many share my grief. "But because I have lost Craig as part of this historic tragedy, my anguish is compounded exponentially by fear that his death is being used to justify new violence against other innocent victims. "I ask our leaders not to take the path that leads to more widespread hatred - that makes my husband's death just one more in an unending spiral of killing. I call on our national leaders to find the courage to respond to this incomprehensible tragedy by breaking the cycle of violence." Ryan Amundson said: "Since 11 September, many have tried to speak on behalf of the victims' families. When some question the response of the US, supporters of violent retaliation sometimes shout: 'try to tell that to the victims' families.' It is assumed that those most personally affected by the September 11 attacks take comfort in whatever actions our political leaders deem necessary. This assumption is not true. "My family is proof. Many other families are proof. We take no comfort in the emphasis on military action as a solution to the complex economic and political problems that fuel terrorism. In fact, the prospect of more killing in the name of justice is horrifying. Only peace will bring comfort." He said: "We agree that sacrifice is required, but this does not necessarily mean sacrificing the lives of innocent people abroad, our troops or our freedoms here at home. The greatest honour to my brother's life would be that his death would mark the end of a vicious cycle of violence. I hoped that something good could come from something so terrible. This hope disintegrated as I heard the vengeful words of our leaders. When the bombs started falling, I felt like my brother would be just another casualty in the cycle of violence. The attackers got exactly what they wanted, Holy War, with the creation of more violent fanatics on both sides. There is always hope for some change. People I meet are usually more eager to discuss different points of view than what is presented in the popular media. There is a strong receptiveness to alternatives, especially when one realizes that emphasizing the military solution will not make our country, or the world, any safer. I just hope that our nation's leaders and the people of our nation can figure that out."

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