24 March 2017

When the 'best among us' chose the heroic route: 9/11 family members get a big 'Thank you'

There was a sense of accomplishment and relief after the 9/11 Commission's final report was released on July 22, 2004 to the world, but Beverly Eckert and the other family members did not take time to rest. Their work was only half done until the commission's recommendations were adopted.

So they immediately set their sights on this next goal.

This involved the tough task of convincing members of Congress to formulate laws and pass them. On August 3, 2004, Beverly, Sally Regenhard and Robin Wiener testified before the House Government Reform Committee, adding their passionate and firm voices to the call for widespread changes. Many Americans viewed the hearing on television and were moved by the words of the family members. Here's an email from one woman from New York City. Her sense of disillusionment with politicians rings true even today. But her gratitude shines through.

Dear wonderful ladies,
I have lost so much faith in this country, this city, and those who are in power. I watched the DNC [Democratic National Convention] and that gave me a small amount of hope as I think that Kerry and Edwards are decent, thoughtful and intelligent men. But, my real hope for this country came when I watched your testimony before the committee. 
I have long been in awe of all of the family members and their ability to turn horror to good, but today I saw that the members of Congress see you as the only hope to get this country going in the right direction. What an awesome responsibility to have placed upon you, but I know that you are equal to these challenges.
When Ms. Eckert said to the committee that this was their hour to take a place in history and to do the right thing, I was wondering if the three of you (and the other family members) were aware that this was something that you did long ago. You chose the heroic route and you have traveled it with courage and integrity and love -- for your loved ones who so needlessly were lost and for your country and for people like me that just need to know that there is something left in the world that is right, true and full of integrity (without bulshit).
I hope that God will bless you and grace you in all that you do. I hope that you find some relief from your grief, although I know how hard that is. I was sobbing as I witnessed your pain and courage. I hope that you know that you represent the good and decent part of this nation -- you really are the best among us. Thank You.

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