When I was in Washington last November I had the opportunity to hear a member of a group called 9/11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows speak about healing from the grief of death of a loved one through the power of reconciliation.
This group of people had lost family members in the Sept. 11 attacks and wanted to explore peaceful options in a search for justice. He described the work he and others in the group have been doing to break the cycle of violence and retaliation engendered by war. I was amazed at the courage of these people to speak for a restorative, non-violent solution to terrorism in the face of a national mood of retaliation. Instead of succumbing to despair and grief, this group of people began to reach out to others who had experienced similar tragedy.
He spoke of the group's visit with Afghani people who had lost family members as a result of bombs dropped by our country in the effort to dislodge the al-Qaeda forces. I was eager for my Juneau friends to hear about the efforts of this group. So when I returned home, I contacted the West Coast office of Peaceful Tomorrows and David Rice, a board member of the organization, responded with his willingness to come to Alaska. Andrew Rice's older brother, David, was killed in the Sept. 11 attack on the World Trade Center. Andrew Rice will speak in Juneau Tuesday, March 18 at Chapel by the Lake at 7 p.m. He will speak about "Peace and Justice After 9/11" and his experience with the power of reconciliation. I hope people of Juneau will not want to miss this opportunity to hear his powerful message.