9/11 widows aid Afghan war widows

Two American women aim to assist poor women in Afghanistan.


Tracy Clark-Flory
May 12, 2006 4:33PM (UTC)

Every so often, there are reminders of the civility in the world, as with this Associated Press article about 9/11 widows who are assisting Afghan war widows. Both Patti Quigley and Susan Retik's husbands were killed as passengers on jets that stuck the World Trade Center. The women took the financial support that they received after the attack and donated a large sum to Afghan social organizations; their hope is to help women who have lost their husbands to war or terrorism. Recently, they visited Kabul, Afghanistan's capital, in an effort to raise awareness of the poverty in the region.

In a somewhat ambiguous statement, Quigley said, "We wanted people to understand that these widows were widows because of the same terrorists that affected our husbands. The terrorists were in that country, it doesn't mean they were from that country." Is Quigley saying that these women's husbands are innocent casualties in a warranted U.S. invasion of Afghanistan? It's unclear. Regardless, it's surprisingly compassionate of them, given these women's own misfortune, to extend the aid and recognize that the tragedy reaches beyond the families of those lost on 9/11. It seems fitting that the nonprofit the women founded in 2004, to help women worldwide who have been widowed as a result of war, is named Beyond the 11th.

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Tracy Clark-Flory

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