Attorney General Holder has suggested that those who oppose prosecuting these men here in New York City are afraid – that we somehow don’t have the courage to face Khalid Shaikh Mohammed in court.
How dare this man, who didn’t have the decency to notify victims’ families of his decision to bring these monsters here, imply that we lack courage. Courage is carrying on after watching your loved ones die, in real time, knowing that they burned to death, were crushed to death, or jumped from 100 flights high. Courage is carrying on, even as we waited, in some cases years, for something of our loved ones to bury. More than 1,100 families still wait.
How dare the attorney general suggest that the firefighters who oppose this trial need to “man up” and let this avowed enemy of America mock their brother firefighters in the country’s most magisterial setting, a federal court.
Let me refresh the attorney general on the meaning of courage. Courage was going into those buildings that day, knowing they might not come out alive. Courage was digging for nine months on hands and knees, breathing in toxic smoke, to find the ravaged remains of brother firefighters, police officers, citizen responders and office workers. This courage was not summoned from false bravado; it sprang from an abiding love of their fellow human beings and a sense of obligation to them, their families and their beloved country.
Debra Burlingame, sister of Charles (Chic) Burlingame, captain of American Airlines Flight 77, which was hijacked and crashed into the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, and co-founder of 9/11 Never Forget U.S.
Read her entire commentary here.
Bit of an activist GPICT this week:
Burlingame has organized a rally protesting the NYC-based trials of 9/11 conspirators.
Foley Square, Lower Manhattan (Map)
Saturday, December 5th, 2009, 12:00 noon
If that’s your thing…
She also sent a letter signed by 300 family members of 9/11 victims to the President, Attorney General and Defense Secretary Robert Gates asking them to reverse course. Read it here and co-sign it here.
$.02: It is totally unnecessary to hold the trials in NYC.
Have some sympathy and some taste.