Copy of a letter sent to to the New York Times
Our son Greg is among the many missing from the World Trade Center attack. Since we first heard the news, we have shared moments of grief, comfort, hope, despair, fond memories with his wife, the two families, our friends and neighbors, his loving colleagues, and all the grieving families that daily meet at the Pierre Hotel.
We see our hurt and anger reflected among everybody we meet. We cannot pay attention to the daily flow of news about this disaster. But we read enough of it to sense that our government is heading in the direction of violent revenge, with the prospect of sons, daughters, parents, and friends in distant lands dying, suffering, and nursing further grievances against us.
It is not the way to go. It will not avenge our son's death. Not in our son's name.
Our son died a victim of an inhuman ideology. Our actions should not serve the same purpose. Let us grieve. Let us reflect and pray. Let us think about a rational response that brings real peace and justice to our world. But let us not as a nation add to the inhumanity of our times.
Copy of the Rodriguez's letter to the White House:
Dear President Bush:
Our son is one of the victims of Tuesday's attack on the World Trade Center. We read about your response in the last few days and about the resolutions from both Houses, giving you undefined power to respond to the terror attacks.
Your response to this attack does not make us feel better about our son's death. It makes us feel worse. It makes us feel that our government is using our son's memory as a justification to cause suffering for other sons and parents in other lands.
It is not the first time that a person in your position has been given unlimited power and came to regret it. This is not the time for empty gestures to make us feel better. It is not the time to act like bullies.
We urge you to think about how our government can develop peaceful, rational solutions to terrorism, solutions that do not sink us to the inhuman level of terrorists.
Phyllis and Orlando Rodriguez
The above was posted on the Canadian Unitarians for Social Justice ListServe, where it had been forwarded from the Mennonite Central Committee in British Columbia, Canada. Phyllis and Orlando Rodriguez have asked that people share these letters as widely as possible. Our sincere condolences go out to them.