Day: 2006-09-11

Beyond the 11th

This is the name of a charity begun by two American widows, Susan Retik and Patricia Quigley: both women were mothers of small children and also heavily pregnant when their husbands died on 9/11, one in each of the planes that hit the Twin Towers.

Many other people lost their loved ones that day, but few have reacted as these women have done. Despite their grief and anger at the terrorists, Patti and Susan are actively engaged in charity work for the people of Afghanistan, the country where most of the hijackers trained before coming to the USA and committing their atrocity.

I heard Susan Retik interviewed on Radio National this morning to mark the 5th anniversary of the disaster. Before 9/11 she barely knew anything of Afghanistan, and her reaction to learning more about the Taliban and their oppression of women was to awaken her compassion in a very personal way based on her own recent tragedy: if life was so bad for women there generally, how much worse must it be for unsupported widows? And what could she do to help them, woman to woman?