April 30, 2012
Dear Families and Friends,
Tomorrow marks one year since the death of Osama bin Laden. Many have expressed that last year's breaking news caused a whirlwind of emotions, from shock and relief to reminders of the heartbreaking loss that we suffered, both individually and collectively as a nation. As we learned more about the mission, we felt a deep admiration for the brave Navy SEALs who conducted the military operation and an indebtedness to those who dedicate their lives every day to fighting the war on terrorism.
I'd like to share CNN Anchor Anderson Cooper's heartwarming words during his broadcast on May 2, 2011:
"After nearly ten years of waiting, ten years of imagining where he was, what his life was like, wondering if he would strike again, it is a relief to know he's gone. It's like exhaling after holding one's breath for a painfully long time... Someday, however, in the not-too-distant future, I hope we no longer give bin Laden the satisfaction of ever speaking his name or even remembering him in our nightmares... In the years ahead, I hope that it is not the wasted life of this mass murderer we remember. I hope instead we remember the lives of those we lost.
"I hope we remember Leon Smith, Jr, one of the brave New York City firefighters who rushed into the burning Twin Towers... I hope we remember Samantha Lightbourn-Allen, a budget analyst at the Pentagon... And Craig Damian Lilore, he was just 30, worked in finance for Cantor Fitzgerald, high up in the North Tower... I hope it is their names we speak, not bin Laden's. I hope it's how they lived, their lives we remember, in addition to how those lives ended. I hope we remember all that they did and all they never lived to do." We have included the full transcript of Anderson Cooper's remarks on our website. You can view it by clicking here.
Our staff at VOICES remains dedicated to providing support to the families, including our work to create the 9/11 Living Memorial that will honor the nearly 3,000 lives lost. Milestones like tomorrow reinforces the importance of always remembering their lives, not their deaths and finding comfort in the strength and resiliency that was demonstrated by our families and communities as our country came together as one.
In closing, we anticipate extensive media coverage this week detailing the military operation and assessing the current safety of our country leading up to the military arraignment of other alleged terrorists. For some this might be an emotional time, so our social workers are scheduling a teleconference support group on Wednesday, May 2nd from 12:00pm - 1:00pm to provide an opportunity for families to talk with one another. Reservations are required and space is limited. Contact Michelle Doherty at firstname.lastname@example.org or 203-966-3911 to make a reservation.
As always, you and your families are in our thoughts. Please contact our office if we can be of any assistance.
Mary Fetchet & the VOICES Staff