I’m missing you here in my busiest travel season, and I look forward to seeing you a lot this summer, when it calms down considerably. In the meantime, I wanted to make sure you are aware of this upcoming event, organized by my friend Ethan Vesely-Flad, from Fellowship of Reconciliation.
Orlando and Phyllis Rodriguez lost their only child, Greg, during the 9/11/01 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. Shortly after this terrible tragedy, they penned an poignant open letter describing the pain but speaking out against military action that might be taken by the U.S. government as a result. Their letter galvanized a community of others who had suffered the same fate that day, launching a national network called September 11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows. Members of that network have been outspoken against torture, extraordinary rendition, and other tactics of the U.S. security state.
A new documentary film, “In Our Son’s Name,” tells their powerful story including Phyllis’ remarkable friendship that emerged with the mother of accused 9/11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui. This weekend, screenings will be hosted in Fayetteville, Durham, and Raleigh — and then in Asheville next week.
My friend Phyllis will come to our city next Wednesday, April 13th for a 7:00 screening at Warren Wilson College (at the Canon Lounge room in the Gladfelter building, adjacent to the main dining hall). I hope you can join me to see this new film and meet Phyllis, who is a humble, warm, generous peacemaker. (I have been privileged to work with her for the past decade on the North American board of the Institute for Healing of Memories — Fr. Michael Lapsley’s organization.) Here’s a Facebook page for the event.
Also, Phyllis and fellow Peaceful Tomorrows cofounder David Potorti joined Frank Stasio earlier this week on “The State of Things” broadcast via North Carolina Public Radio: in case you missed it, you can still listen to the 20-minute podcast.