Some Sept. 11 families became peace activists

By JOHN CHRISTOFFERSEN | August 3, 2011 | 2:29 AM EDT

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — Out of the ashes of the Sept. 11 attacks that killed nearly 3,000 Americans, some relatives of the victims channeled their grief into the peace movement.

The families argued that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and calls for vengeance were the wrong response to the terrorist attacks. They would rather the legacy of their loved ones be a rise in peace activism, and have spent the last decade trying to spread that message and prevent other civilians from facing similar suffering.

An expert on the peace movement said the Sept. 11 families played an important role, lending legitimacy and credibility to growing anti-war protests and helping to attract mainstream support.

The relatives participated in long marches, sometimes enduring insults along the way, and some traveled to Iraq and Afghanistan.