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From One Ground Zero to Another: Americans Who Lost Loved Ones in the September 11 Attacksmake a Historic Journey to Afghanistan to Meet with Afghans Who Lost Loved Ones in the U.S. Bombing

StoryJanuary 18, 2002
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George Houser

World War II conscientious objector and civil rights activist.

Bill Sutherland

World War II conscientious objector and African liberation activist.

Yesterday, Secretary of State Colin Powell became the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit Afghanistan in 25 years.He arrived en route from Pakistan and stayed just long enough to meet with interim Afghan ruler Hamid Karzai.

Meanwhile, a small delegation of Americans was in the midst of a very different, but equally unprecedented, Afghanjourney. On Tuesday, four Americans who lost loved ones in the September 11th attacks arrived in Kabul to meet withAfghans who lost loved ones in the U.S. bombing. They came to share their grief and to draw attention to thethousands of lives lost in the so-called "war on terror." Their message: reconciliation, not revenge.

The journey of these four Americans–from one ground zero to another ­ was organized by the Global Exchange, aninternational human rights organization. During their eight days in the country, they will meet with grievingfamilies, speak with Hamid Karzai, and witness the devastation of the last four months of bombing. They areambassadors of a different kind of United States. Yesterday, we reached two members of the delegation by satellitephone from Kabul: Rita Lasar, whose brother Abe Zelmanowitz died a hero in the attack on the World Trade Center.Derrill Bodley, who lost his daughter Deora on United Airlines flight 93, which crashed in Pennsylvania.


  • Rita Lasar, whose brother, Abe Zelmanowitz, died in the World Trade Center attacks.
  • Derrill Bodley, a professor of music who lost his daughter Deora on United Airlines flight 93, whichcrashed in Pennsylvania.

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