rn: Pentagon widow’s plea for non-violence


Jan Slakov

From: Roger and/or Denise =?iso-8859-1?Q?Lagass=E9?= 
Subject: Pentagon widow's plea for non-violence

A widow's plea for non-violence

By Amber Amundson. Amber Amundson is the wife of the late Craig Scott
Amundson, an enlisted specialist in the Army
Published September 25, 2001

My husband, Craig Scott Amundson, of the U.S. Army lost his life in the
line of duty at the Pentagon on Sept. 11 as the world looked on in
horror and disbelief.

Losing my 28-year-old husband and father of our two young children is a
terrible and painful experience.
His death is also part of an immense national loss and I am comforted by
knowing so many share my grief.
But because I have lost Craig as part of this historic tragedy, my
anguish is compounded exponentially by fear that his death will be used
to justify new violence against other innocent victims.

I have heard angry rhetoric by some Americans, including many of our
nation's leaders, who advise a heavy dose of revenge and punishment. To
those leaders, I would like to make clear that my family and I take no
comfort in your words of rage. If you choose to respond to this
incomprehensible brutality by perpetuating violence against other
innocent human beings, you may not do so in the name of justice for my
husband. Your words and imminent acts of revenge only amplify our
family's suffering, deny us the dignity of remembering our loved one in
a way that would have made him proud, and mock his vision of America as
a peacemaker in the world community.

Craig enlisted in the Army and was proud to serve his county. He was a
patriotic American and a citizen of the world. Craig believed that by
working from within the military system he could help to maintain the
military focus on peacekeeping and strategic planning--to prevent
violence and war. For the last two years Craig drove to his job at the
Pentagon with a "visualize world peace" bumper sticker on his car. This
was not empty rhetoric or contradictory to him, but part of his dream.
He believed his role in the Army could further the cause of peace
throughout the world.

Craig would not have wanted a violent response to avenge his death. And
I cannot see how good can come out of it. We cannot solve violence with
violence. Mohandas Gandhi said, "An eye for an eye only makes the whole
world blind." We will no longer be able to see that we hold the light of
liberty if we are blinded by vengeance, anger and fear. I ask our
nation's leaders not to take the path that leads to more widespread
hatreds--that make my husband's death just one more in an unending
spiral of killing.

I call on our national leaders to find the courage to respond to this
incomprehensible tragedy by breaking the cycle of violence. I call on
them to marshal this great nation's skills and resources to lead a
worldwide dialogue on freedom from terror and hate.

I do not know how to begin making a better world: I do believe it must
be done, and I believe it is our leaders' responsibility to find a way.
I urge them to take up this challenge and respond to our nation's and my
personal tragedy with a new beginning that gives us hope for a peaceful
global community.

Copyright © 2001, Chicago Tribune