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Remembering 9/11…Accurately

Dear Tanenbaum Community,

Today is the 19th Anniversary of September 11, and while the death and destruction of that day will never be forgotten, the story we tell about those events, the motivations of the perpetrators, the ongoing trauma of the victims of that day is already diluted.

According to the FBI, hate crimes against Arabs and Muslims multiplied by 1,600% from 2000 to 2001. And in just the first weeks and months after 9/11, human rights organizations documented hundreds of violent incidents experienced by Arab and Muslim Americans and people mistaken for Arabs or Muslims – like the murder of Sikh gas station owner just days later. This information is juxtaposed against the reality that in the last two-decades, far-right terrorism significantly outpaced other types of terrorism, including from far-left networks and individuals inspired by the Islamic State and al-Qaeda. And in the U.S. itself, more people are killed by far-right extremists than by those who are adherents to Islamist extremism.

Yet discriminatory acts against religious minorities stemming from misinformed stereotypes persist. In whatever way you reflect on the events of 9/11/2001, we invite you to remember this day in a way that does not conflate an entire religion with the tragic events of 9/11, and offer some resources for your consideration, so we may truly never forget what happened.

Read:

Watch:

Act:

There is much to repair, much to learn, and so much growth for all of us to move toward a humanity that respects all life.

In remembrance,

Rev. Mark Fowler
CEO, Tanenbaum

 


 

Remembering & Understanding 9/11

Friends –

In the days following September 11, 2001, our nation experienced an outpouring of support, generosity, and empathy from our neighbors and every corner of the globe. Today, there are children for whom September 11th is a moment only experienced through textbooks. But, for many of us, it is still a time to remember the 3,000+ lives lost and to reflect on how our way of life has changed.

I still remember when I could go to a meeting in NYC and not having to go through security. A time when we were not worried about terrorism; when Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and Sikh hate crimes were far less out in the open.

September 11th marked a time of change and challenges with which we, as a nation, are still grappling. That’s why it’s important to remember, to learn from that seminal moment, and to move forward together.

I’m proud that Tanenbaum can be a resource as we navigate emerging extremism and hate. For those who still care about the facts, for educators, clergy and community leaders, we offer some easy-to-use materials, including:

  • Our September 11 Fact Sheet is an easy-to-use resource highlighting the facts and history of 9/11.
  • To understand terrorism, we offer our Talking Terrorism Fact Sheet for more information about global terrorism, as well as our White Supremacy fact sheet (because more Americans have died at the hands of white domestic terrorists since 2001 than any other type of terrorist attack in our country).

With a commitment to truth and justice,

Joyce

Reflections on September 11

Dear Friends,

For 17 years, I have paused on this day to remember the traumatic events of 9/11—and the nearly 3,000 victims from a vast array of religions and beliefs who we lost that day.

9/11 is a marked day for our nation. But it’s also an opportunity to reflect on what has happened since that tragic day. Like the overwhelming spread of disinformation and the embedding of deeply rooted stereotypes that breed hate, division and injustice.

As Martin Luther King Jr. so aptly stated:

The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.

On this solemn anniversary, we invite you to take another look at our September 11 Fact Sheet, updated last year. It reminds us not only to feel intensively on 9/11—but also to think intensively and critically.

Remembering 9/11-Reflections on Nonviolence

Friends,

On this 16th anniversary of September 11th, I chose to commemorate the tragic day by rejecting aloud the idea that violence is the core language of humankind. Instead, it is nonviolence—a transformational force acknowledged by many faiths and belief traditions—that resonates with me and that has moved mountains throughout history.

Drawing strength from their own faith’s perspectives, icons like Martin Luther King Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, and Nelson Mandela, as well as Tanenbaum’s lesser-known Peacemakers in Action, prove that nonviolence is an effective and loving way to combat oppression, violence and extremism in our time.

Learn more about the various ways our religious beliefs address nonviolence from our latest Combating Extremism resources:

Nonviolent resistance… avoids not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. The nonviolent resister not only refuses to shoot his opponent but he also refuses to hate him.

–Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., “An Experiment in Love”

In Remembrance,
Joyce S. Dubensky, CEO

The Survivor Tree: A story of resilience from 9/11

survivortree_bloomingin2010_911memorialdotorg

The Survivor Tree, 2010 | 911Memorial.org

The tree’s branches were severed but a few green leaves remained, each leaf a sign of life against the blackened sky. On that day, we grieved as New Yorkers, and global citizens, for the innocent lives lost and the knowledge that in many ways, life would never be the same.

The Survivor Tree, November 2001 | 911Memorial.org/

The Survivor Tree, November 2001 | 911Memorial.org

The tree was carefully removed from the World Trade Center site and it began to recover, sprouting new branches and flourishing in the sun. Replanted at the 9/11 Memorial, in the spring, it’s white flowers spread across the sky, honoring the victims and reminding us of our strength when we stand together.

Together, we are a strong, resilient nation, just like The Survivor Tree.

By Nicole Margaretten


To view a slideshow of the Survivor Tree’s transformation, please visit the 911 Memorial’s gallery.

 

Nicky’s Family: How one man saved 669 children’s lives

Celebrating those people who rise above the rest, who step into the history books by acting in humanity’s pivotal moments, is an important part of how we choose the values we bequeath to the next generations. 

This Fourth of July, along with the rest of this country, I celebrated the heroes of our American Revolution. On July 5,  I had the unexpected honor of celebrating another hero, whose selfless acts in the months before the outbreak of WWII saved hundreds of lives and whose example has now inspired thousands of acts of kindness around the world.

Sir Nicholas Winton was a young Londoner enjoying the trappings of his budding career as a stockbroker when an unexpected encounter led him to eventually rescue 669 Jewish Czech and Slovak children just before the onset WWII. His story has now been made into a documentary by the name of Nicky's Family and the film will be showing in NYC at the JCC Manhattan, the Quad Cinema, the Kew Gardens Cinema and the Malverne Cinema stating on July 19.

I had the pleasure of watching the film on July 5 and it reminded me that while we often think that opportunities for heroism abounded in the past much more than today, it is in finding ways to make a difference now and acting in the face of difficult odds that leads to real heroism. 

For his actions then and for the example he has become today, Sir Winton has even been nominated for the Noble Peace Prize. If you watch the film and are moved to endorse this petition, you can do so by clicking here

Mihai Morar, Chief of Staff