Pentagon soldier's widow opposes the war

Lou Paulsen wwchi at
Thu Sep 27 19:45:50 MDT 2001

>The Chicago Tribune      September 25, 2001
>A Widow's Plea for Non-Violence
>     by Amber Amundson
>My husband, Craig Scott Amundson, of the U.S. Army lost his life in the
>of duty at the Pentagon on Sept. 11 as the world looked on in horror and
>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,
>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
>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
>Amber Amundson is the wife of the late Craig Scott Amundson, an enlisted
>specialist in the Army.

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